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Mercator Hondius: China

Map: SEAS5190
Cartographer: Mercator Hondius
Title: China
Date: 1619
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: SEAS5190
Stunning copper-engraved map of China from the French edition of the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Geographically, the map covers China, Japan, Korea, the island of Luzon in the Philippines, part of India and the Bay of Bengal. In the upper right (east of China) and separated by the mythical Strait of Anian (Anian Fret), the northwest coast of America extends into view and is inhabited by a deer and a fox.

This map uses Portuguese sources, namely that of Jorge Luis de Barbuda’s map for China (1584), and the depiction of Japan is based on Luís Teixeira (1595). Curiously but common for the period, Korea is shown as an island.

The map is embellished with land-ships and the Great Wall of China in the north. In the ‘silk’ sea, there are galleons, sea monsters and a Chinese-junk. An inset illustration in an Italianate strapwork frame shows a ritual Japanese crucifixion of a Christian.

This example is in exquisite original hand colour and features French text on verso (image available on request). [SEAS5190]