1657 Tartaria sive Magni Chami Imperium
By: Blaeu / Jansson
Date: 1657 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 15 x 19.5 inches (38 cm x 50 cm)
This superb decorative map of Tartaria is Jansson’s rare reprint of the original by Blaeu, his authorship distinguishable by the scrolling of the letters above the scale of miles, along with a number of other differences. The map covers China, Tartary and Central Asia, extending from Mongolia and Xanadu all the way to the Caspian Sea and Persia, from Far Eastern Russia to European Russia, including the Volga River in the West. It also includes China (Cathay), Tibet and the Upper Ganges River.
The Great Wall of China is beautifully detailed and colored. Areas inhabited by various peoples are labeled, for example ‘Kasakki Tartari’. Geographical features include a desert with the Latin description of its inhabitants, translated loosely as ‘It is generally believed that in this desert there are amazing human beings who are diabolical in aspect. Close examination of the area reveals demonic-appearing apparitions dancing and reveling, resembling nothing more than devils and other evil-looking apparitions from the works of Heironymous Bosch. There is German text on the verso.
The hand-colored map’s most decorative aspects are the title cartouche, in which a camel with a young boy is being both led and driven by men in what is apparently European costume, and the scale of miles, a cartouche in itself, with a cartographer dressed in an Eastern turban using his caliper, while his assistant opposite awaits further orders.
Condition: This map is in B condition, with offsetting and some uneven toning. A short centerfold separation has been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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