A New Map of Asia from the latest Observations Most Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honorable George Earl of Warrington & c.
By: John Senex
Date: 1721 (published) London
Dimensions: 19 x 22 inches (48.25 x 56 cm)
This antique map of Asia by John Senex, presents an early 18th century understanding of a vast and variable continent, with many regions unknown or left to speculation. Senex one of the leading English cartographers in the early part of the 18th century. Due to the excellent quality of his work, he was appointed Geographer to Queen Anne.
This is a very attractive map of Asia, combining the latest information available to Senex with the many misconceptions of the continent prevalent in Europe at the time. One such misconception that first appeared over a century prior to this publication is a false lake in southeast Asia that appears to be the source of many river systems that feed the region. Where this lake appears the map lacks the Himalayan Mountains that is the true source of these lowland river system.
The map is most confused in the seas north of Japan. The "Land of less" and "Company's Land" are shown as indistinct and large land masses, and north of them is the "Eastern Ocean." Less than twenty years after the publication of this map, Vitus Bering would waste precious time in search of these large land masses, that would ultimately play a role in his death after being shipwrecked and stranded on a small island that now bares his name just off the Kamchatka Peninsula. Another area of confusion is the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, which is simply described as an "Unknown Coast."
The map also includes several interesting notations, including one of some length discussing the a stretch of "land (that) was left undecided in the Treaty of Nipchu... made between the Czar of Moscovy and the Emperor of China 1689..." Another notation in southern Persia describes a region as a "Desert of ten days journey without water and habitation." A small inset map in the bottom left completes the northern coastline of Asia, aptly naming the Arctic Ocean "The Ice Sea."
Decoratively, this map is quite appealing. The neat, strong engraving is nicely complimented by the outline hand coloring. A charming title cartouche adorning the top left corner shows two figures in Asian dress surrounded by flora and fauna of the continent.
Condition: This authentic antique map is in A condition with the original outline color, strong engraving, and full margins. The map is lightly toned with age on each side of the centerfold and a very small pinhole that can only be found when the map is held to the light exists in Philippines.
1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 496-3622