A reduced version of Jansson's unusual plan of the city of Quinzay [Hangchow] that was based on the account given by Marco Polo. Quinzay is a corruption of the Chinese King-sze meaning "Capital" or great city. The actual name for Quinzay in this period was Lin-ngan, which was the capital of the ruling Sung Dynasty. Polo recounted perhaps with his typical tendency for exaggeration its 12000 bridges, massive network of canals, paved roads and its large Lake [Si-hu or Western Lake] some 30 miles in diameter with island pavilions and palaces upon it. It is a beautiful bird's eye plan and one of very few ever done of a Chinese city. Cleanlyl split in half, but bound together with the old guard from the binding. Some repairs to the margins. A presentable example of this rare view, which is easily repairable.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century