View full screen - View 1 of Lot 46. Qianren Huang | "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century].
46

Qianren Huang | "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 GBP

Qianren Huang | "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]

Qianren Huang | "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 GBP

Starting bid:

55,000

GBP

(0 bids, reserve not met)

Lot closes:

Lot closes:

1 day, 13 hours

1 day, 13 hours

May 13, 01:46 PM (GMT)

May 13, 01:46 PM (GMT)

Qianren Huang


大清萬年一統地理全圖. Da Qing wannian yitong dili quantu. [Complete map of the unified Qing dynasty empire]. [Daoguang, 19th century]


Large woodblock map printed in 16 sections on 8 sheets, approximately 1320 x 2350mm., mounted on a later folding screen, some restoration and occasional wear


"THE BLUE MAP". A STRIKING EXAMPLE OF THIS IMPRESSIVE AND RARE MAP PRODUCED DURING THE QING DYNASTY.


The inscription immediately below the title provides an array of information about the vastness of China's territory and administrative changes that the Qing court had implemented. The inscription also mentions that this is a revised edition of a map that Huang Qianren (1694-1771) created in 1767. That map was itself based on the work of Huang Qianren's grandfather, Huang Zongxi (1610-1695). The fact that the inscription mentions the younger Huang, is likely to underline a proud family tradition of illustrious scholarly achievement. The text glorifies Manchu imperial expansion while offering an assurance that the map is completely updated. The map shows the addition of territories such as Tibet and Xinjiang, underlining the continuous strengthening of the Chinese state.


This map offers a detailed portrayal of the Chinese world: the seas surrounding China no longer contain mythological areas and European states. Lands such as the Korean peninsula, the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan and other coastal islands are reasonably rendered. A long text accompanies the foreign territories, explaining their history of political relations with the Qing. The map pays great attention to the diversity of the country of China, showing its grand nature of mountains and rivers. It also identifies provinces, prefectures, districts, and other administrative divisions by enclosing their names in squares and other shapes whose functions are interpreted in the introductory text. 


"Two prominent visual features of this map do align well with the claims of China's greatness that maps of this genre tend to assert. The massive scale of this eight-part map, which fills the viewer's field of view, lends grandiosity to its subject. Moreover, the work's palette dramatically imbues its subject with antique culture, for the deep blue and green colours recall the opaque mineral pigments of the venerable blue-and-green style of painting that the aristocrats Li Sixun (651-716) and Li Zhaodao (c.675-741) popularized at the imperial court of the Tang dynasty (618-907)" (All Under Heaven).


Each example of the Blue map appears to be unique. We have been able to trace the following examples recorded in institutions: National Library, Beijing; Beijing University Library; Shandan Museum in Gansu Province; Library of Congress, Washington DC; Maclean Collection, Chicago; Kobe City Museum; Waseda University Library.


LITERATURE:

Pegg, R.A. Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps (Hawaii: Maclean Collection and University of Hawai'i Press, 2014), pp. 18-27; Yan Ping (and others). China in Ancient and Modern Maps (London: Sotheby's Publications, 1998), p. 141

Some wear and restoration


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.