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Carolus Allard: Tartaria, sive Magni Chami Imperium

Map: RUS2576
Cartographer: Carolus Allard
Title: Tartaria, sive Magni Chami Imperium
Date: 1699
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 24 inches / 61 cm
Height: 20 inches / 51 cm
Map ref: RUS2576
Beautiful and important map of Central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia, and northern China. known at the time as Tartary, or the Empire of the Great Khan. Double-dashed lines indicate the network of roads and trade routes that made up the fabled Silk Road, stretching from Beijing (Peking) to the Caspian Sea and to Russia.

The geography of the map is derived from a much larger 6-six sheet map by Nicolaes Witsen, the first printed European map of this region based on first-hand sources. Witsen, a Dutch merchant and statesman traveled to Russia at the age of 24 as a special ambassador to the Russian Tsar. Decades later he returned to Amsterdam with volumes of notes, writings, and sketched maps. He compiled these into a 6-sheet map of Asiatic Russia (published in 1687) and a book, Noord en Oost Tartaryen (published in 1692).

Both the map and the book are scarce as they were not sold commercially, but rather presented as gifts by Witsen himself. To fill the commercial void, several publishers, including Carolus Allard of Amsterdam, published their own reduced versions of Witsen's map of which this is a fine example.

Original hand-colour. [RUS2576]