By: George Nicol
Date: 1796 (Published) London
Dimensions: 23.5 x 36.6 (60 cm x 93)
This fascinating large map, a double folio in black and white is an Exploration Chart of the Eastern Hemisphere which clearly traces the routes of the voyages of the Houghton diplomatic embassy mission from England to China, and home again, which was ordered by King George III. The entire Eastern Hemisphere is represented here in order to depict their routes.Interestingly, on the way to China, the mission made a detour, stopping off in Rio de Janeiro before heading east. As stated in the title, observations and notes were made as they sailed, including atmospheric pressure and temperature readings which were taken and recorded at noon each day.
The map provides much detailed knowledge of China and Asia, including the size of the Chinese Empire and its river systems. Indigenous peoples including even some of India are represented. Significant information is included in the region of Russian, including the Tartars, and peoples of Tatarstan, Bucharia, and many other regions. Ancient Scythia is denoted. Just north of the Sea of ‘Corea’ is an area with the heading ‘Ancient Mantchoo Tartars’, noted as ‘The Conquerors of China’. Other nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples of the area, including tribal names and places are detailed.
This map offers a wealth of information in large-scale format. Mountain ranges are denoted and named, including the Himalayan, Altai and others. All major and some smaller bodies of water are noted and named. Dangerous areas at sea including shoals and ‘Rocks nearly even with the surface of the Sea…’ are noted to reduce danger for future voyagers.
Condition: This superb map on heavy paper is a strong impression in B condition. It is a folded map with separations at some folds which have been repaired with archival material on the verso, as have other small tears in the margins. One fold is slightly discolored.. 23.5 x 36.6 (60 cm x 93).
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