Exactissima Asiae Delineatio in Praecipuas Regiones Caeterasq Partes Divisa et Denuo in Lucem Edita.
Amsterdam, D. Nicolai Witsen, [c.1700]. Original hand-coloured copper-engraving. Plate Size: 58 cm x 49.3 cm. Sheet Size: 62.1 cm x 52.1 cm. Vintage, 18th century map. Very good condition of a vibrantly coloured map (contemporary 18th century colouring). Some very minor hints of browning to sheet edges and to center of map near fold. Lower centre fold shows very minor traces of staining due to repair tape on reverse.
[Sweet 70; Tibbetts 173; Koeman I, List of maps Al. 10.]
A beautiful and richly detailed of Asia including the islands of Japan, Formosa (Taiwan), the Philippine and Indonesian archipelagoes (with islands such as Mindano, Borneo, Sumatra and Java all listed), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and the Maldives. The Korean and Malay peninsulas and Indian sub-continent are also included. Eastern Europe and Russia can be seen in the top left corner. Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and East Africa are also shown. The northern part of Hollandia Nova (Australia) can be seen in the lower right corner of the map. An inset map in the top right corner shows some of Chukchi Peninsula at the easternmost mainland point of Asia in greater detail. Above Japan, a portion of the Kuril Islands centering on the Vries Strait (Miyabe Line) is shown.
The information on this region was taken from Nicolas Witsen’s 6-sheet map of Tartary from 1687 as noted above the bottom border. Witsen gathered much of this information from the governor of Tobolsk and formulated a completely new interpretation of the northeast extremity of the continent, shown here in the inset. It shows a long mountainous peninsula, Ys Caap (Icy Cape), which was believed to render it impossible to sail around northern Asia to reach the wealth of the East Indies. Witsen’s influential map became the standard model for the mapping of Asia until the expeditions of Bering (1725-1749). The rest of the map draws mainly on De Wit’s maps of Asia, except that Allard presents a completely different, and apparently unique, configuration of the Black and Caspian Seas. The map is particularly significant for its depiction of Russia, Siberia, and parts of Chinese Tartary.
Mountains and forests/swamps are depicted pictorially. The region’s abundant river systems such as the Euphrates, Indus and Ganges, for example are also included. The ‘Pontus Euxinus hodie Mare Nigrum (Black Sea) and Nare de Sala/Caspium (Capsian Sea) are also shown. The map is heavily laden with cartographic details: China’s Great Wall depicted. So too are the great cities of the vast Eurasian landmass: Constantinople and Damascus in the west, to Baghdad and Peking to the east. The names of great empires and historic kingdoms that echo down the ages adorn the map: Persia, the ‘Magni Mogolis Imperium’, ‘Tartaria Magna’, ‘Caßimere’, and ‘Turchestan’, for example. To the West, the geography of ‘Russia Moscovia’ is given in great detail. St Petersburg does not appear on the map.
The large stunning title cartouche features the personification of Asia receiving tribute from a number of her subjects.
Carel Allard (1648 – 1709) was a print publisher and etcher in Amsterdam.