KOREAN ATLAS. [Korea: 1861].
305 x 172mm. Atlas containing 10 double-page woodcut maps on stiffened paper in concertina form, hand-coloured in blue and red wash, comprising maps of the World, China, and the eight provinces of Korea, marking rivers, mountain ranges, towns, administrative centres, military stations, routes and temples, each map titled upper right, the provincial maps with geographical points written in the margins. (A few splits along folds, particularly to world map which also has small hole and some loss at lower margin, occasional small areas of dampstaining, pink staining to one map, final map browned.) Versos of reused paper inscribed with manuscript character trials, doodles and faces in black ink (area of wear to upper cover).
A signed and dated Korean atlas. The order and stylistic elements of the maps follow the usual tradition, opening with the world map, the Ch'onhado (titled upper right, 'map of all under heaven'), with its sea and land rings, the thousand-li coil tree to the north, and the trees to the west and east marking the rise and setting of the sun and moon. This is followed by the map of China (Chunggukto), showing the Great Wall, Yellow and Yangtze rivers. The provincial maps of Korea follow the tradition of Chong Sanggi, who produced maps of all the provinces on a unified scale in the 18th century. The final two maps show the Diamond Mountains and Mount Paektu. It is rare for such an atlas to be signed and dated - the name 'Kukumkusa Ahnwoon' appears in the right margin of the world map, which may refer to either the mapmaker or the original owner. Literature: G. Ledyard, Cartography in Korea, in J.B. Harley & David Woodward, The History of Cartography, 1994, vol. 2).