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Blaeu, Joan / Martini, Martinus. Novus Atlas Sinensis. Le Theatre du Monde, ou Nouvel Atlas […] Sixiesme Partie.

Amsterdam, Joannes Blaeu, [1655].

Folio (560 x 364 mm). Engraved architectural title with French letterpress text label, 17 engraved double-page maps colored by a contemporary hand (no text on versos), mounted on guards. Modern calf.

First Latin edition of the first European atlas of China. Martini based his highly regarded survey on the Ming revision of the Yü t'u, unlike d'Anville's atlas which used Jesuit surveys. D'Anville notes in his Mémoire: "Martini made use of the maps which the Chinese possessed at the time. They do great honour to that nation and make them superior in this connection to any other Asian people" (p. 25f.; quoted in Lust). The hand-coloured double-page maps consist of a general map of China, 15 maps of the provinces, and a map of Japan. The volume was published as a separate volume by Blaeu in 1655; however, the maps were also included in volume VI of Blaeu’s "Nieuwe Atlas" (1649-58) in Dutch and "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum; sive, Novus Atlas" (1655) in Latin.

Title with small repair at center, patched with bookplate on verso before colouring, first leaf with paper flaw repaired before printing and with a few letters supplied in manuscript facsimile on verso, map of Iunnan with tiny losses to brown pigment repaired on verso, some browning, mostly to text. Provenance: contemporary, unidentified engraved armorial bookplate on verso of title; latterly in the library of Jean R. Perrette (his bookplate on pastedown).


Cordier (Sinica) 182. Koeman Bl 53. Lust 160. Henze III, 384f. & cf. IV, 339. Howgego I, M64 (p. 689).