YOJIDO (KOREAN ATLAS). [Korea: late 18th-century].
315 x 190mm. Woodcut atlas containing 13 double-page maps on stiffened paper, mounted in concertina form, comprising maps of the World, Korea, the 8 provinces, China, Japan and the Ryukyus, with towns and mountains highlighted in red ink, with occasional corrections by brush to courses of rivers and locations of mountain ranges in black wash, geographical distances in li in margins, woodblocks numbered (some minor browning). Outer covers inscribed. Provenance: Japanese stamp to world map and two seal stamps, one in seal script.
An early Korean atlas, possibly dating from the 18th-century. The maps are archaic and stylised, and, interestingly, are bound out of sequence, with the map of Korea and the provincial maps appearing before those of China and Japan. There are signs of use by an early owner, with towns circled in red ink, perhaps denoting places visited, and with changes made in black wash, in keeping with the latest cartographical advances. Indications of mapmakers are not usually present in Korean atlases, but here the map of Japan contains a name in Korean in the margin, which may be that of the woodcarver.
Literature: G. Ledyard, Cartography in Korea, in J. B. Harley & David Woodward, The History of Cartography, 1994, vol.2.
Christie's are grateful to Mrs Beth Mckillop, curator -- British Library -- for her assistance in the preparation of these catalogue entries.