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  ASIA 
 Far East 

LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. [Breaking the Portuguese Monopoly on the East Indies Trade Routes]
Exacta et accurata delineatio cum orarum maritimarum... Amsterdam, c.1596. Coloured. Two sheets conjoined as issued, total 395 x 530mm. Binding folds flattened; bottom margin extended with contemporary paper.
A highly decorative map, engraved by Henricus van Langren after Arnold Florent van Langeren for Linschoten's 'Itinerario', a manual for sailing to the East Indies, based on Linschoten's own experiences and secret Portuguese guides. The dissemination of this information broke the Portuguese monopoly of trade with the Far East. The map displays all the features that made this period the golden age of decorative cartography: the titles, in Latin and Dutch, are within a strapwork cartouche, as are the scales; in the sea are two finely-engraved compass roses, sea-monsters and galleons; filling the gaps in China are an elephant, camel, giraffe and rhinoceros. Shown are Burma, Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, Borneo and the Philippines, around the coast of China to Korea & Japan. Korea is an almost round island; Japan is described by Walter as 'shrimp-shaped'. On the right edge is 'Beach, the Gold Province', often taken for Australia. This derives from Marco Polo's 'Locach', a place the Chinese told him was far to the south. In a 1552 edition of Grynaeus's 'Novus Orbis Regionum' the name was mistranscribed to 'Boeach', then shortened to Beach. However today is it believed that 'Lochach' was 'Lo-huk', the Cantonese name for Lopburi, a kingdom in southern Thailand. WALTER 12.
[Ref: 16966]    £12,500.00 ($16,000 • €14,313 rates)


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