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Hong Kong Rarity -- Signed By the Mapmaker!

Scarce first state of this rare folding map of Hong Kong, "Drawn by Sung Chun-wa (Saiyingpun School) and printed by South China Lithographic Press, Hong Kong.

Rare map of Hong Kong, which may have been intended for school or educational use. Hong Kong is shown on a scale of 35mm to a mile, extending to Lamma Island, Po Toi, the Kowloon Peninsula and the eastern tip of Lantau. The names are given in both Latin and Chinese scripts.

At the bottom left, the map appears to bear a signature "Sung", which we believe is the signature of its maker.

The map has been discussed at great length on the Gwulo: Old Hong Kong website:

Based upon the discussion, it would seem that the map dates to between 1922 and 1925, working from the understanding that the South China Lithographic Press opened in 1922, and that Sai Ying Pun School became King's College in 1926.  It is also noted that in 1936, Sung applied to register the compass rose shown here as a trade mark, with the copyright notice claiming to have used the mark since 1924.

The discussion also notes that the map shows Hong Kong as it existed in about 1913-1914, omitting later information.  Summarizing the map, one contributor notes:

SUNG's map appears to depict Hong Kong as it was in 1913 or early 1914, but was not drawn and printed until at least 1924. The possibility of it being intended for decoration or as a "copy map" to assist trainee cartographers develop their skills, rather than as a direction finder, may go some way to explaining the apparent time gap.  


This would appear to be the first state of the map, signed by its maker.

We note that two examples were offered at auction in the past 10 years, one of which was later offered by a London dealer.

Condition Description
Minor discoloration along centerfold.
Hal Empson. Mapping Hong Kong, A Historical Atlas. Plate 2-11