This is a lovely 1854 map of China by Joseph Meyer. It covers the traditional provinces of mainland China, as well as Formosa or Taiwan. The Grand Canal and the Great Wall are noted. Formosa or Taiwan is also included, though notably malformed, reflecting the primitive state of the regional survey prior to the Japanese invasion and subsequent survey work in 1895. Throughout, the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers and assortment of additional topographical details.
During this time in history, this region was dominated by China's last Imperial Dynasty, the Qing. In 1851, three years before this map was issued, the region dissolve into one of the bloodiest wars in human history, the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing, lasing from 1851 to 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.
This map was issued as plate no 43. in Meyer's Zeitung Atlas. Although all the maps in this atlas are not individually dated, the title page and maps were often updated while the imprint with the date was not, causing confusion to the exact date for some of the maps. Moreover some maps in the atlas were taped in at a later date as an update to the atlas. We have dated the maps in this collection to the best of our ability.
Joseph Meyer (May 9, 1796 - June 27, 1856) was a German industrialist and publisher, most notably for the encyclopedia Meyers Conversation-Lexicon. Born in Gotha, Germany, Meyer was educated as a merchant in Frankfurt am Main. He moved to London in 1816, but returned to Germany in a820 after his stock speculations and business adventures fell through. Once back in Germany, he began by investing in the textile trade (1820-24). Meyer began creating business plans concerning how to start railways soon after the first steam-hauled railway began operation in December 1835. He founded the Deutsche Eisenbahnschienen-Compangie auf Actien (German Railway Rail joint stock company) in 1845. Meyer also found great success as a publisher, utilizing the system of serial subscriptions to publications, a new idea for the time. He founded a company, Bibliographisches Institut in Gotha in 1825, which published several versions of the Bible, works of classical literature, atlases, the world in pictures on steel engravings, and an encyclopedia.
Meyer, J., Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, 1852.
Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, formally titled Neuster Zeitungs-Atlas Fuer Alte und Neue Erdkunde was a popular German hand-atlas published in Heidelberg by Joseph Meyer between, roughly, 1848 and 1859. The atlas is well engraved in the German style with exceptionally dense detail and minimal decoration. Meyer's Atlas, and its constituent maps, are typically very difficult to date as later editions often contain earlier maps and earlier editions later paste-in updates. That said, the atlas' frequent updates and publication run during a turbulent decade provide a noteworthy cartographic record of the period.
Very good. Minor spotting and toning, especially near margins. Upper right margin exhibits water stains.