Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

FIRST STATE. This very rare map of China is by Philippe Couplet (1622-93), a Flemish Jesuit father born in Mechelen. He arrived in China in 1658 and remained until 1681 when he returned. It was included in his work entitled ‘Tabula Chronologica Monarchiae Sinicae’ published in Paris, 1686. The work is a chronological table of the Chinese monarchy from 2,952 BC to publication. The first date causing much debate amongst religious circles in Europe. A second issue occurred the following year in another book by Couplet, the first publication of the work of Confucious in Europe.

The title of the map translates as a plan of the 15 provinces and 155 cities of the Chinese Empire. The cartography is derived from the earlier Jesuit maps of Martino Martini (1655) Athanasius Kircher (1667). The text below the map lists for each province the key cities, settlements, quantity of ‘families’, temples, and missionaries. It concludes with a total stating that the number of families are 10,128,789 with 58,916,783 living in the capitals. It highlights the extent of Jesuit influence in China at the time. Churches are indicated by a cross. It hints at expansion into southeast Asia and the region of Tumkim (Tonkin). It extends to the Philippines, Taiwan, and the whole of the Korean peninsula. The Great Wall extends across the north. This example is separately published, includes the text, and is finely edged in silk including two loops for hanging.

The map was published by Jean-Baptiste Nolin. In 1688, Nolin left the Rue Saint Jacques, the traditional quarter for engravers and moved to the Quai Horloge where the sellers of maps, prints, and books were centred. Its publication in 1687 in the work of Confucious already reflected this change in the imprint and extended text below the map. The map is engraved by François de Louvemont (1648-c.1690). Caboara (2022) no. 92; Cordier (1878-95) 559; Lust (1987) n0. 394; Pastoureau (1984) p. 357; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).

COUPLET, Philippe

Paradigma XV Provinciarum et CLV Urbium Capitalium Sinensis Imperij ...

Paris, 1686
FIRST STATE. 290 x 215 mm., laid on contemporary cloth with mint silk edges and two loops above to suspend it from, in excellent condition.
Stock number: 10921
£ 995
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