the empire of china

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the empire of china


Copper engraving (by M. Bowen) with original wash colour.

Published by Laurie and Whittle 'as the Act directs' 12th May 1794.

Image size: 500 x 650mm approx. 

Generally good condition throughout: vertical fold, as issued; a little toning to this fold.

The title in full reads: 'THE EMPIRE OF CHINA with its principal divisions; drawn from the surveys made by the Jesuits; with improvements and additions, from the maps of Monsr. D'Anville.'

The map covers the whole of China and Korea. China itself is coloured to show its various provinces.  Also shown are Taiwan, Tibet, Tartary, Japan and the Phillipines as well as the smaller islands of the China Sea. 

Robert Laurie (1755-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818) were a prominent partnership of print and map publishers in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century London. In 1794 they took over the business of their former employer Robert Sayer including the address in Bolt Court, Fleet Steet, London. When Robert Laurie retired from the firm in 1812 his place was taken by Richard Holmes Laurie (1777-1858). Upon his death the firm was bought by Alexander George Findlay, FRGS (1812-1875). It continued in the Fleet Street premises until 1895. In 1904 it merged with James Imray & Son and Norie & Wilson to become Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson at 156 Minories, publishers of nautical pilot books and charts. In 1939, the firm moved to Wych House, St Ives, Huntingdonshire, and specialised in yachting charts. In May 2020, much of the remaining stock was sold at auction. See: BM under ‘Robert Sayer’.

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