1800 (undated) 33 x 31.5 in (83.82 x 80.01 cm)
A rare c. 1800 Korean celestial and zodiacal constellation chart in manuscript. This chart illustrates the traditional Chinese zodiacal system, generally following the Korean Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido (which shows the night sky as seen from Seoul c. 100 BC), but also incorporating western zodiacal astrology, and Qian Lezhi's c. 440 AD Chinese celestial globe illustrating the work of the ancient Chinese astronomers Shi Shen(石申), Gan De (甘德), and Wu Xian (巫咸). Following Qian Lezhi's c. system the constellations of the three great astronomers are distinguished. Constellations appearing in black reference Gan De (甘德), constellations in red reference Shi Shen (石申), white (open circles) reference Wu Xian (巫咸). Two larger intersecting circles surround the center, these represent the ecliptic and Equator. The chart is further divided into numerous xiu (宿) surrounding a central nexus. The nexus, represented by a circle at the center of the map, is most important and represents Earthly life, hosting such important constellations as 'the prince', 'the concubine', and 'the throne.' The other constellations are divided into zones typically referred to as xiu (宿) or mansions. In traditional Chinese celestial cartography there are 28 unequal mansions, presumably associated with lunar movements, or possibly the movements of Jupiter. This chart, for no clear reason, consolidates several of the smaller mansions into larger entities, leaving only 24. This chart also, interestingly, illustrates the Milky Way, a feature uncommon to Chinese charts, but not atypical on Korean charts from the 14th century onwards, when it first appeared on the Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido. Around the outside of the map the constellations of the western Zodiac, and the seasons, are named. An exceptionally rare and important discovery.
Average. Repairs on verso. Staining and soiling.
Rumsey 5865.002. OCLC 28943362, 953568824.