Leen Helmink Antique Maps

China by Hondius






Amsterdam, 1606


33.9 x 45.6 cms


Copper engraving

Stock number





$ 3250


"A boldly engraved map [...] showing Korea as an island, and combining elements of Barbuda's map of China and Texeira's map of Japan (both published earlier by Ortelius).

Amongst the decorative features a sea monster, deer on the North American coast, Dutch and Japanese ships, and a Chinese wind-blown land- vehicle can be seen. A scene in a panel on the right shows an ancient Japanese torturing technique [actually shown is the crucifixion of Christians].

The Mercator/Hondius/Jansson series of atlases was published in various European language versions. [...]. Although the face of the map remains constant the text on the reverse is, of course, translated and provides a fascinating insight into early European information of foreign and exotic countries. The text for this map describes the climate, national features, inhabitants and economy of China [ verbatim from the 1636 english edition ]:

'In every Mechanick art, and manifacture they are so exceeding skillfull and cunning, that their wockemanship seemeth rather to be made by nature, then by the hand of men... The Portugalls report many straynge things of the subtilitie of their spirits, among the rest, which is most to be wondered at, they have wind-chariots or wagens with sailes and know how to steere and governe them with such dexteritie, that in a short time they can carrie themselves where they please...'

(see left hand side of the map)"