The Kingdome of China. Newly augmented by I. S. in 1626... To be sold in popshead Alley by G. Humble. China/ Japan/ Korea, John SPEED.
“The First Map of China and Japan (and Korea) by an English Mapmaker” (Lee, p. xxiv)
[London], [1627/1631?]

The Kingdome of China. Newly augmented by I. S. in 1626... To be sold in popshead Alley by G. Humble.

15 1/2 x 20 inches (39.4 x 51 cm). Black and white excellent. With text in English on verso.

A beautiful inky black and white example of the first English map of folio size of China, as well as arguably the most richly embellished, early map of the area by John Speed (1552-1629). The map also shows part of north-western America (upper right corner).

“...Speed’s map visibly defines China, Japan and Korea as a discrete geographical entity. Embellished with several captivating vignettes of (from top left to right) the “cany wagons light” that John Milton wrote “the Chinese drive,” a panoramic view of Macao and Quinzay (Hangzhou), and the persecution of Christians in Japan, the map also endows the region with a unique cultural identity that is largely free of Orientalist stereotyping. As the images of the “Chinian” and Japanese men that adorn the side borders of this map (and others like it) attest, Far Easterners were portrayed as highly civilized, industrious, and inventive—not strange, exotic, or decadent” (Lee, pp. xxiv-xxv).

The vignettes also depict “A woman of Pegu,” “A men of Pegu” (Pegu is a historical a town in Maynmar), and “A Chinien women.”

The map comes from Speed’s Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World, first published in London in 1627 and re-printed in 1631. The verso of the map includes curious encyclopedic information on China.

*Cortazzi, Isles of Gold, pl. 29, p. 94; Lee, The English Renaissance and the Far East: Cross-Cultural Encounters, esp. pp. xxiv-xxv.

Price: $4,850.00

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