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Antique Map of Shanghai and its Environs by: Milne / Becker, 1853

1853 Shanghai and its Environs

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By: Dr. William Milne

Date: 1853 (circa) London

Dimensions: 8 x 14.25 inches (20.25 x 36 cm)

This rare map of Shanghai is one of the earliest printed maps of the city to be published in Europe. Originally drawn by Charles Milne, a 19th century missionary who spend decades in the Far East, this map was redrawn and engraved on steel by L.M. Becker for printing in London.

The map is oriented west, with North at the right-hand side and centers on the "walled city" of Shanghai. Grounds for the Americans, French, and English are shown with each consulate office identified by their respective flags. Many other buildings are noted throughout the map including several places of worship, hospitals, and other buildings, such as a printing office, Tea Garden, Hall of United Benevolence, Educational Institution, and the Chinese Foreign Customs House to name a few. 

Outside the city, we find areas marked suburbs as well as villages, an "Encampment of 10,000 Imperialists," Native, Catholic, and Ningpo cemeteries, and gardens, which include a very large peach garden. A note at the top of the map describes the surrounding country as “studded with villages laid out in fields for cotton and rice and cut up with innumerable foot and horse paths into the interior.” Along the Hwangpoo River, we find anchorages for both native and foreign vessels in separate locations. At bottom right is a small inset map illustrating the river passage up to Shanghai from the Yangtze River and Yellow Sea.

This map provides a rich array of details about Shanghai in the aftermath of the initial Opium War, concluding in 1842 with the Treaty of Nanking. This treaty designated Shanghai as one of China and Japan's five treaty ports, facilitating international trade. The city's ascension to global significance during this period was fueled by European acknowledgment of its economic and trade prospects along the Yangtze River.

Condition: Map is in B condition, issued folded now linen backed for preservation purposes there exists a closed tear that extends about 3.5 inches into the map from the left margin. Color appears to have been added later.

Inventory #12666

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