2 December 2008,
Price realised HKD 2,060,000
Estimate HKD 2,000,000 - HKD 3,000,000
A 17TH CENTURY PRINT BY ZHONG WENTAO AFTER MATTEO RICCI
A set of six scrolls, ink print
Each scroll measures 168 x 62 cm. (66 1/8 x 24 3/8 in.)
Dated renyin year of the Wanli era (1602)
Great Universal Geographic Map is a World Map in Chinese language drawn by Italian Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci (1552 -1610) in China in 1602. The Map consists of six sheets, each 168 cm high and 62 cm wide, to assemble into a complete world atlas. According to investigation done up till now, there are only seven sets plus two sheets of the original copy of this Map, but none of them is in our country.
Collection details of Great Universal Geographic Map are listed below:
1. Vatican Apostolic Library Collection I
2. Vatican Apostolic Library Collection II
3. Japan Kyoto University collection (all three Jesuit seals on the map have been scraped away)
4. Collection of Japan Miyagi Prefecture Library.
5. Collection of Library of Japanese Cabinet. (Texts and patterns outside the Map have all been removed; only oval shaped Map itself remains.)
6. Missing copy. (Originally collection of Claremont College in Paris France. Once displayed in "Chinese Japanese Map Exhibition" held by British Library in 1924.) In 1988 it was purchased by Henry Hiller. In 1991 it showed up in an auction house, now its whereabouts is unclear. 7. Collection of Italy's "University of Bologna Observatory". (incomplete copy, only two sheets, the first and the sixth)
8. Japanese private collection. (i.e. the version printed in this catalogue)
Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata city in the central Italy; he joined Jesuit Mission Office in 1571, and received systematic theology training in Jesuit school in Rome. During his study in Rome, he was instructed by many famous lecturers. In 1582 Matteo Ricci arrived at Macao, and since then he started his life in China, till he passed away in Beijing in 1619. Matteo Ricci was the first Jesuit missionary to enter China, and also the earliest Westerner to introduce Western science into China. He has influenced China greatly in the areas of astronomy, geography, and calendar.
Introduction on maps drawn by Matteo Ricci in China can be referred to:
Matteo Ricci World Map Study by Huang Shijian, Gong Yingyan, 2004, Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House
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Please note that this painting should be woodblock print instead of lithographic print as stated in the catalogue note.