Striking set of views of Japan, from Chatelain's Atlas Historique.
Beautifully engraved and fascinating folio sheet with five views and one plan surrounding a central panel of French text describing Meaco (the home of the Dairi or Spiritual Emperor) and Yedo (the home of the Koubo or Secular Emperor). The plan depicts the Deshima, an artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki where the VOC (Dutch East India Company) was allowed to trade with the representatives of the Shogun in Edo (Tokyo).
Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743) was a Huguenot pastor of Parisian origins. Chatelain proved a successful businessman, creating lucrative networks in London, The Hague, and then Amsterdam. He is most well known for the Atlas Historique, published in seven volumes between 1705 and 1720. This encyclopedic work was devoted to the history and genealogy of the continents, discussing such topics as geography, cosmography, topography, heraldry, and ethnography. Published thanks to a partnership between Henri, his father, Zacharie, and his younger brother, also Zacharie, the text was contributed to by Nicolas Gueudeville, a French geographer. The maps were by Henri, largely after the work of Guillaume Delisle, and they offered the general reader a window into the emerging world of the eighteenth century.