An Early Dutch Map of China From VOC Sources
Important early map of China, which accompanied Johann Nieuhoff's important account of his travels in China, one of the earliest non-Jesuit accounts of the region.
Johann Nieuhoff was the official chronicler & draughtsman for the first embassy to China by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), then at the height of its power. His record of the trip became the most important source of information about China for Europe in the 17th Century.
The map reflects the limitations on Niehoff's travels, with significant detail along several rivers. The embassy traveled from Canton to Peking by way of rivers and canals, and this route is filled with place names. Nieuhoff completed the map with vignettes of the indigenous animals (although it is doubtful that elephants roamed the Gobi Desert as pictured here). The map is further embellished with sailing ships and junks and a title cartouche enclosed in a garland of exotic fruits and held aloft by cherubs.