Il Regno Della China detto presentamente Catay e Mangin diviso sopra le Carte piu esatte nella sue Principali Provincie Da Giacomo Cantelli di Vignola
By: Giacomo Giovanni Rossi & Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola
Date: 1682 (dated) Rome
Dimensions: 17 x 21 inches (43.2 x 53.4 cm)
This rare and early Italian map of China, Korea and Japan is the result not only of the mapmaker’s talent, but also of the collaboration of art and science, of the ongoing exploratory expeditions taking place in the area described by the map and the finely tuned social networks developed by its authors. Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola used his considerable talent and skills to depict an area of Asia which was scarcely known to the majority of western Europeans of the day, and in quite some detail.
Based on myriad sources, the most obvious are Martini, Tavernier, Giovanni Gruever and Benedetto Goes, all of whom are credited in the title cartouche. The map confirms that China and Cathay are one and the same, and that much of what Marco Polo had described centuries earlier was reliable information.
A long section of the Great Wall of China is clearly depicted, and many toponyms used by the authors are easily recognizable today. Chinese provinces are delineated and named, and Japan is easily recognizable. Regions controlled by the already expansive Russian Empire are either labeled as Tartaria, or incorporate the word ‘Tartar’ in the name used to identify them.
The map is embellished by an exquisite Baroque-style cartouche featuring an Eastern sovereign splendidly attired, with cornucopia and mermaids providing music with their large conch shells.
Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola is credited with having developed the specific Italian style of fine bold engraving which later would be used and further developed by cartographers such as Vincenzo Coronelli. His work was much admired by royal, religious and political figures of the day. He spent his last days working for the Duke of Modena, where he published and number of maps, and produced two globes of note.
Condition: This map is in A condition with old coloring over clean paper and full margins on all sides. It is without any tears, holes, or foxing.
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