PURCHAS, Samuel (1575?-1626)
The Map of China
[London: William Stansby, 1626]. Engraved map with three insets. Sheet size: 13 1/8 x 15 inches. Expert restoration at the side margins.
The first western map exclusively of China, based on a Chinese mapping.
Samuel Purchas made this map of China on the basis of a map Captain Saris had obtained in Bantam and had given to Hakluyt, from whom it came to Purchas.The original map, possibly the 1593 "Cao Map", was Chinese about 3 feet square on a larger sheet that undoubtedly included an index and perhaps a text. Purchas used the Chinese characters at the title and the circles and squares that, possibly, denote cities and towns only from the original. He added the inset "Picture of a Chinese Man", "Picture of a China Woman" and the portrait of Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit "Apostle of China." The portrait of Ricci is appropriate as his cartographical work ultimately contributed greatly to European knowledge of China (though after the Purchas map had been published). The map includes the boundaries of each province, the Great Wall in the north, the capital region of Beijing ("Pequin"), and many placenames are discernible: "Nanquin", "Canton", "Amacao", "Iunan", for example.