This beautiful so called ‘carte-a-figures’ map is the first English printed map of Asia. Ten costumed figures of Asian peoples and eight city views forming a decorative frieze across the top. Published in London by the famous John Speed, this unique map is largely based on Jodocus Hondius’ map of Asia published 50 years earlier in Amsterdam.
Title: Asia with the Islands Adioyning described, the atire of the people & Townes of importance, all of them newly augmented by J:S: Ano. Dom: 1626.
Korea is shown as a slender oddly projected Peninsula. The Great Wall of China is shown, along with and Elephant above the source of the Ganges. A nice simple/naïve Northeast passage along with a piece of North America and sea monsters in the extreme North Pacific and Southern Indian Sea. The text on the verso presents a fascinating Anglocentric view of Asia in the early 17th Century.
Reproduction of a rare early 17th century map of Asia by the great Dutch engraver and map publisher Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), who worked with many of the most prominent cartographers and publishers of maps at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. In 1604 he bought the plates of Mercator’s Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not competed successfully with Abraham Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. In order to meet this competition Hondius added 37 new maps including one of the Asian continent and from 1606 published enlarged editions of the so-called Mercator/Hondius Atlas Sive Cosmographicae mediations de fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura. The new general delineation of Asia was to become the standard delineation of the region for the next 20 years. Hondius included a number of updates on the map with Korea being shown as an island and Japan is shown as three principal islands. The geography of the East Indian Islands is based on the Portuguese sources revealed in Linschoten’s Itinerario (1596) and Theodore De Bry’s Petit Voyages (1598-99). Java is shown with an incomplete southern coastline and New Guinea, which is marked with Spanish place names following, has an accompanying note in Latin stating; “Whether this is an island or part of the continent of Terra Australia has not yet been identified.”
An exceptional map of the East India Islands originally publsihed in 1719 by Henri Chatelain. Centered on China, Chatelain’s map covers from the Caspian Sea to the semi-mythical Terre de la Compagnie and India to New Guinea. It provides extraordinary detail throughout with topography rendered in profile and numerous geographical and political elements identified.
Size image: 40 cm x 41 cm
Important 17th Century map of the Indian Ocean. This elegantly composed map is one of the earliest French maps to show the groundbreaking 17th century discoveries that occurred in Australia. Notably, it features the explorations of Abel Tasman, derived from his voyages to Australia and New Zealand, from 1642 to 1644. Lands recently encountered by Dutch East India Company (VOC) explorers include the south coast of Tasmania, the west coast of Cape York, and the coast of Arnhem Land. Originally first published in 1665 from Duval’s atlas, Cartes de Geographie les Plus Nouvelles. The outlines of the coasts of South and East Asia are very advanced for the time. India, Indochina and the Malaya Peninsula are based on the latest VOC published sea charts, and present a view familiar to the modern observer. The Indonesian Archipelago is generally well formed, although New Guinea takes on a somewhat crude shape. China is shown in fairly assured form and features the depiction of the Great Wall, while Korea is correctly shown to be a peninsula. Japan, south of Hokkaido, is quite accurately represented. Pierre du Val (1619-1683) was ‘Geographe Ordinaire’ to Louis XIV. As evidenced by the present map, Du Val was known for his careful selection of sources and his tasteful, somewhat restrained, employment of ornamentation combined with virtuous engraving.
Size image: 54 cm x 40 cm
Decorative map of South East Asia, India and western Oceana by Matthaus Merian, based upon William Blaeu’s India Orientalis map of the same period. Matthäus Merian was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.
size image: 46 cm x 35 cm
Early 18th century map of Australia, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, originally from Valentyn’s Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, one of the earliest contemporary maps to report information drawn from the Dutch V.O.C. during the period. This excellent map details the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, the Far East, and much of Australia, based on careful compilation of the best available sources by the brilliant and entertaining Dutch chronicler, François Valentijn. The map features a fine depiction of the outlines of the western two-thirds of Australia, based on the discoveries of explorers working for the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). These include Willem Jansz’s discoveries in the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606; the encounters of Dirk Hartog in 1616, the crew of the Leeuwin in 1622, Gerrit Frederiksz de Witt in 1627, and Pieter Nuyts in 1627, in Western Australia; and Jan Cartensz and Willem van Colster’s discoveries in Northern Australia in 1623. The Indonesian Archipelago is well-formed based on VOC knowledge, except that the shape of New Guinea still remains ambiguous. The Philippines are shown in the configuration utilized prior to the publication of Padre Pedro Murillo Velarde’s map in 1744. Continental Southeast Asia assumes a refined form, and includes the intelligence gathered by the French embassy to Siam, made shortly before Western contact with the kingdom was cut-off in 1688. Further north in Asia, the coasts of China are relatively well formed, based on Jesuit surveys, most notably those conducted by Martino Martini in the 1640s and 1650s. Korea is correctly shown as a peninsula, albeit of a somewhat nebulous form. Notably, Valentijn does not incorporate and was likely unaware of the groundbreaking surveys of China and Korea contained in the Chinese Kangxi Atlas (1718-9), which was yet to reach Europe. The southern main islands of Japan are relatively well formed, based on the charting of VOC mariners operating out of Nagasaki. The coasts of India, Arabia and Africa are conveyed in a progressive manner, based on extensive navigational experience and innumerable surveys conducted by the Portuguese and the Dutch. Notably, ‘I. St. Maria’ (St. Mary’s Island) on Madagascar was then the pirate capital of the World and a place to be avoided by ‘legitimate’ mariners. Notably, the map features highly advanced detail with respect to the interior of southern India, based on the work of the French Jesuit Jean-Venant Bouchet (1655-1732), who was the first European to extensively map the Deccan. In 1719, he sent a manuscript map to Paris, which was first published in 1722. Valentijn’s inclusion of this information is therefore quite early.
The strangely shaped islands and early place names provide a fascinating early view of the region on this 450 years old map. This map of South East Asia by Girolamo Ruscelli’s edition of Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’ was published in Venice in 1561. The crudely executed map shows some evidence of the Portugese discoveries in the early 16th century such as the location of Malacca. East of Malacca is Java Minor, south of Sumatra is Java Major. Little of the Indonesian archipelago is accurately depicted on this early map of the region. The map represents a transition from the old Ptolemaic model of the far east, based largely on the accounts of Marco Polo, and the Ortelian model based on access to the Portugese portolan charts of the area.
size image: 25 cm x 19 cm
Mid-16th century German map of the Indian Ocean and Asia by Sebastian Münster. This map was published in the 1550 German edition of Münster’s monumental work Cosmographia. Sumatra is designated as Taprobana, Java Major is shown below an island called Java Minor. The Pacific Ocean shows an archipelago of 7448 islands, a forerunner to the better understanding of Southeast Asia. Although largely based on Ptolemy’s work, the map incorporates some of the more recent Portuguese discoveries. The outlines of the Indian subcontinent, between the Indus and the Ganges rivers are in a recognizable form, with “Zaylon” (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) correctly shown as an island. The treatment of “Cathay” (China) is consistent with the writings of Marco Polo and other Venetian travellers.
Size image: 39 cm x 27 cm
A fine mid-17th century Dutch sea chart of South-East Asia and Australia by Pieter Goos (1615-1675), noted engraver and publisher of Amsterdam. This interesting map was originally published in the sea atlas ‘De Zee Atlas ofte Water-Weereld’ (The Sea Atlas or the Water World). The chart is oriented with north to the left and shows the result of Abel Tasman’s second voyage. There is a gap in the coastline between Australia (called New Holland) and New Guinea while the two are connected on most other maps of this period.
Size: 48 cm x 40 cm
Late 16th century map map of South-east Asia by Abraham Ortelius from a Latin edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum published by Christophe Plantin in Antwerp in 1595, 1601 or 1609. The Theatrum was the first uniformly-sized, systematic collection of maps ever produced and hence is generally referred to as the first true atlas although the term was not used until 25 years later by Gerard Mercator. The map of Southeast Asia represents a synthesis of the best readily available information on the region from Italian, Portuguese and Spanish sources. Latin text on verso and crossed arrows watermark in eastern sector of the map.
This highly decorative map was originally published in 1596 by Jan Huygen van Linschoten in his ‘Itinerario’. Linschoten acquired most of the information for the map while serving as the secretary to the Portuguese archbishop in Goa (India) from 1583 to 1589. This map contributed to the end of the Portugese monopoly is the East Indies and opened up the route to the spice islands the Dutch. The map includes a tremendously detailed treatment of the region, displaying a marvelous blend of mythical cartographic detail and contemporary Portugese knowledge in the region. Linschoten also depicts information from the travel account of Marco Polo, including the location of the mythical land of ‘Beach provincia auriferain’ the region where Australia would eventually be discovered. On the mainland the four large lakes in the interior are based on Chinese legend. Korea is shown as a large circular island and Japan is shaped as a shrimp.
Size: 48 cm x 36 cm
The famous early 17th century map of South-East Asia by the great Dutch cartographer William Blaeu. The original map was first published in the two-volume “Nieuwe Atlas” in 1635, showing India and Japan in the north, and New Guinea and partial sections of the coast of Australia in the south, with attractive cartouches for the title of this wonderful map. As the official cartographer to the VOC Blaeu had access to the most up-to-date information, although he is known to have supressed knowledge of Australia for thirty years. “one of the most detailed images of the sphere of operations and Asian trading empire of the Dutch East India Company”.
Size image: 40 cm x 49 cm