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1598 Ortelius Miniature Map of China

China Regio Asie. - Main View

1598 Ortelius Miniature Map of China




China Regio Asie.
  1598 (undated)     3.5 x 4.5 in (8.89 x 11.43 cm)     1 : 50000000


An attractive old color miniature map of Asia from the c. 1598 pocket edition of Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Oriented to the west and centered on China, this map covers from Malaya and Borneo to the Great Wall, and from the Bay of Bengal to Japan. The great wall is featured prominently and many place names within China are noted. The map identifies Formosa, Mecao, and Mindanao, among other destinations. Finely engraved with French text on Verso.


Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was one of the most important figures in the history of cartography and is most famously credited with the compilation of the seminal 1570 atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, generally considered to be the world's first modern atlas. Ortelius was born in Antwerp and began his cartographic career in 1547 as a typesetter for the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. In this role Ortelius traveled extensively through Europe where he came into contact with Mercator, under whose influence, he marketed himself as a "scientific geographer". In this course of his long career he published numerous important maps as well as issued several updated editions of his cardinal work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Late in his career Ortelius was appointed Royal Cartographer to King Phillip II of Spain. On his death in July fourth, 1598, Ortelius' body was buried in St Michael's Præmonstratensian Abbey , Antwerp, where his tombstone reads, Quietis cultor sine lite, uxore, prole.


Ortelius, A., Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, (Vrients, Antwerp) 1598 ¬† ¬†    


Very good. Some minor marginal soiling.


Van der Krogt, P. (Atlantes) 8410:332.