1850 Cruchley Map of China
Description: A lovely 1850 map of China by George Frederick Cruchley. It covers the traditional provinces of mainland China, as well as adjacent Corea (Korea) and Formosa (Taiwan). Hong Kong Island and Macao are identified. The Grand Canal is also noted. Throughout, the map notes several towns, cities, rivers, lakes, mountains and a host of other topographical features. The map is color coded according to countries and territories, and elevation is rendered in hachure.
During this time in history, this region was dominated by China's last Imperial Dynasty, the Qing. In 1851, a year after this map was issued, the region would dissolve into one of the bloodiest wars in human history, the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing, lasing from 1851 and 1862, and costing more than 20 million lives. Around the same time Second Opium War or the Arrow War, from 1856 to 1860, would result in China's concession of Tientsin and Hong Kong to the British.
Cruchley's General Atlas was unique for its period, employing a vivid color scheme extending even to the oceans, distinctive typography, and various uncommon decorative elements including a peacock feather crown and an imprint medallion, both of which break the printed border. Though many of the maps in this atlas are copyrighted in 1841, the atlas was first published in 1843 from the Cruchley office at 81 Fleet Street, London, and proving popular went through numerous reissues well into the 1850s.
Date: 1850 (dated)
Source: Cruchley, G. F., Selection of Maps from Cruchley's General Atlas, for the use of Schools and Private Tuition, London, 1850.
Cartographer: George Frederick Cruchley (April 23, 1797 - June 16, 1880) was a London based book and map seller active in the middle part of the 19th century. Cruchley began his cartographic career as an apprentice at the venerable Aaroon Arrowsmith firm. Many of Cruchley's earliest maps bear the words "From Arrowsmith's" on the imprint. In 1844 Cruchley acquired the massive stock of the important early 19th century firm of John Cary. Cruchley published his own maps as well as reissues of Cary's stock well into the 1870s. Cruchely is best known for his detailed plans of London, which in recent years have become increasingly scarce and desirable. Cruchley was based in London on 38 Ludgate Street until 1834 when he moved his offices to 81 Fleet Street. Shortly before his death in 1880 Cruchely auctioned (Hodgson's Auctions, Jan 16, 1877) his entire stock. Many of his map plates were thusly acquired by Gall and Inglis who continued the Cruchley tradition well into the early 20th century. Cruchley's son, also George Frederick (1837 - 1882), also continued to work as a book and map seller until his death. Click here for a list of rare maps by G. F. Cruchley.
Size: Printed area measures 18 x 15 inches (45.72 x 38.1 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 7600000
Condition: Very good. Minor wear and some toning over original centerfold. Blank on verso.
Code: China-cruchley-1850 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
Tags: Cruchley , Qing Dynasty , Taiping Rebellion , Opium War