A Map of China. / 象形中華民國人物輿地全圖 / Xiàngxíng Zhōnghuá Mínguó Rénwù Yúdì Quántú (Pictorial Full Map of the People and Geography of the Republic of China.)
1931 (dated) 60.5 x 80.5 in (153.67 x 204.47 cm)
1 : 3200000
The most extraordinary pictorial map we have seen to date. A masterpiece, this scarce and enormous lavishly pictorial map of China was compiled in 1931 by John A. Diakoff and drawn by G. Primakoff. The map covers all of China from Kashgar and Yarken to Korea and Japan and from Mongolia to Nepal. All lands within the borders of China are rich in color and detail with countless vignettes illustrating a diversity of plant and animal life, human cultures, architectures, and resources. Text and annotations throughout are in both English and Chinese. Regions outside of China, like Japan, Korea, and India, are also heavily illustrated with vignettes, but are not in color.
The inclusion of Tibet within the borders of China is an unusual choice, considering that Tibet had thrown off the yolk of Qing rule in 1912 and was not annexed into the Republic of China until 1951. Diakoff appears to have been expressing support for China's historical claims to the region. Taiwan too is here color coded as part of China. It is of note that the title suggests that the map was 'approved by the department of education of the three Eastern Provinces' suggesting that the inclusion of China's historical claim may have been intended to appease this board.
Little is known of the authors. John A. Diakoff, the compiler or cartographer, was the 'Scientific Collaborator of the former Russian Orientalist's Society.' The Russian Orientalist's Society was a group of Russian scholars based in Harbin, China. Of Primakoff, the artist, we have been able to unearth no information. Sergeeff is similarly elusive with no other known works. The Northern Trading Company was a Russian commercial concern based in Harbin. Mr. V. F. Yao-Hsiun, identified as a co-publisher, is mostly likely actual lithographic printer, subcontracted by the Northern Trading Company, to produce the map.
Good. Overall browning. Some minor areas of loss. Would benefit from professional cleaning.
Rumsey 11337.000. Library of Congress, Map Division, G7821.A5 1931 .P7., 2016587371.