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The Map Of China - 1625 - Samual Purchas - Original - Matteo Ricci - RARE

The Map Of China - 1625 - Samual Purchas - Original - Matteo Ricci - RARE

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The Map of China

Date: 1625

Author: Samuel Purchas

Size: 14.5 x 11.5 inches

Condition: Excellent. Watermarked paper. Original fold (as issued)

The Purchas map of China is widely regarded as the first map of China western published map to have been derived directly from Chinese sources. It is based upon a Chinese woodblock sheet map, which had been acquired by Captain John Saris in Bantam sometime between December 1608 and October 1609. Saris, then serving as chief factor in Bantam for the East India Company, had taken it from a Fujianese merchant in partial settlement of a debt owed to Saris. Saris in turn delivered the map to Richard Haklyut, who in turn gave the map to Purchas and he included it in Volume 3 of the celebrated “Purchas his Pilgrimes”. This collection of English voyages is considered tby many as the greatest collection of voyages ever published. He entitled the map:

The Map of China, taken out of a China Map printed with China characters, etc. gotten in Bantam by Capt. John Saris.

The title transliterates as Huang Ming yitong fang yu bei lan ( A Comprehensive view map of the Imperial Ming).  The original Saris-Haklyut-Purchas map was written entirely in Chinese. Because Purchas could not translate the map, he removed the Chinese characters from the body of the map, using symbols to depict the towns, rivers and mountains. The vignettes in the corners depict Matteo Ricci and a Chinese couple.

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