松江府川沙縣 / Songjiang Fucheng County.
13 x 15 in (33.02 x 38.1 cm)
A rare Qing Dynasty, c. 1820, manuscript map of Songjiang, Shanghai. Before the founding of Shanghai as a concession city, Songjiang (松江鎮) was the largest city and town seat of Songjiang County, and as such, is considered the cultural root of Shanghai. As the foreign concessions grew and developed, Shanghai became the dominant regional center. Songjiang, located just to the southwest of central Shanghai, is today a historic suburb, Songjiang District. Like many ancient Chinese cities in the Yangtze delta region, this map reveals Songjiang as a city of canals, which served as key transportation infrastructure. Of the walls shown here, constructed in 751 AD, about 4.5 km remain - the rest were demolished between 1930 and 1982.
Qing Administrative MapsDuring the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1912) local officials would compile regular reports, which were then submitted to their bureaucratic superiors. These reports, as here, were uniformly sized with pages at roughly 13 x 7.5 inches. They often included double page maps, surveys, and diagrams that, while not 100% geographically accurate, served to show defensive capability (walls and towers), transportation networks, and waterways. Such maps moreover highlighted town infrastructure, locating temples, civic buildings, bridges, and the homes of prominent families.
Publication History and CensusUnique manuscript piece. Only known example.
Good. Wear and verso reinforcement on old centerfold. Soiling. Maker's seal, lower left.