大清国 / Dà Qīng Guó / Great Qing Empire
1800 (undated) 26 x 29 in (66.04 x 73.66 cm)
1 : 5265500
A very unusual Chinese language manuscript map of China under the early Qing (Ching / 清朝). The map covers from all of china from the Great Wall to the China Sea and the borders with Vietnam. This depiction most likely is intended to illustrate the Qing Kangxi Period (1661 – 1682). Note that Taiwan is omitted. This is not an error, but rather a conscious decision based upon Formosa being aligned with a rebel faction loyal to the Ming. The omission of Taiwan / Formosa can thus be understood as the cartographer's expression of loyalty towards Qing China.
In addition to the standard cartographic conventions this map adds trade routes that extend from Japan to destinations throughout China, giving evidence to a vast and sophisticated trade network at a time when both China and Japan embraced extreme isolationist policies. Additional trade data appears in a paragraph of annotated text in the upper right quadrant just under Manchuria. This trade data is quite unusual and alone makes this map a very significant piece.
Although this map depicts 17th century Qing China, it appears to be a, 18th or 19th century Japanese production based upon an earlier Chinese map. It is drawn on extremely fine rice paper that has been backed with another very fine later rice paper. The cartographic style bears some stylistic resemblance to the work of the Japanese cartographer and military Scholar Hayashi Shihei, but does not correspond to any known Shihei Maps. We have identified no other examples of this map.
Very good. Backed with rice tissue. A couple of repaired holes at fold intersections. Some spotting.