With 17 hand-coloured engraved maps mounted on guards, we were delighted to offer this magnificent atlas as a highlight in our February auction of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs in Edinburgh.
This magnificent atlas was published both as a separate volume by Dutch cartographer Jan Blaeu in 1655, with the title Novus Atlas Sinensis, as well as comprising volume VI of Blaeu’s Nieuwe Atlas 1649-58 in Dutch and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum; sive, Novus Atlas 1655 in Latin, as with the present copy.
Blaeu's maps of China were engraved after Martinus Martini's sketches and observations. Martinus Martini (1614-1661), a Jesuit missionary, worked in China from 1642, amassing many Chinese books and maps, including a copy of Zhu Siben's 14th-century atlas of Chinese provinces, with amendments from Lo Hongxian's atlas of 1555. The hand-coloured double-page maps consist of a general map of China, 15 maps of the provinces, and a map of Japan, and the present atlas, as with many copies, does not have the main title.
With 17 hand-coloured engraved maps mounted on guards, this beautifully made atlas is a highlight in our forthcoming auction of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs in Edinburgh on Wednesday 19 February.