5 April 2016
BLAEU, Joan and Martinus MARTINI (1614-1661). Novus Atlas Sinensis. Le Theatre du Monde, ou Nouvel Atlas… Sixiesme Partie. Amsterdam: Joannes Blaeu, .
2° (560 x 364 mm). Text in Latin. Engraved architectural title with French letterpress text label, 17 engraved double-page maps COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND (no text on versos), mounted on guards. (Title with small repair at center, patched with bookplate on verso before coloring, first leaf with paper flaw repaired before printing and with a few letters supplied in manuscript facsimile on verso, map of Iunnan with tiny losses to brown pigment repaired on verso, some browning, mostly to text.) Modern calf. Provenance: armorial bookplate (on verso of title).
FIRST LATIN EDITION OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN ATLAS OF CHINA. Martini based his highly regarded survey on the Ming revision of the Yü t'u, unlike d'Anville's atlas which used Jesuit surveys. D'Anville notes in his Mémoire: “Martini made use of the maps which the Chinese possessed at the time. They do great honour to that nation and make them superior in this connection to any other Asian people” (pp. 25-26; quoted in Lust). The hand-colored double-page maps consist of a general map of China, 15 maps of the provinces, and a map of Japan. The volume was published as a separate volume by Blaeu in 1655, however, the maps were also included in volume VI of Blaeu’s Nieuwe Atlas 1649-58 in Dutch and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum; sive, Novus Atlas 1655 in Latin. Cordier 182; Koeman Bl 53; Lust 160.
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