Old Maps Collection
Chart of the China Sea
[Carte de la Mer de Chine]
Thornton, John, 1641-1708, cartographer
JPEG 2000, 9280 x 11120, 205.7MB
Scale not given.
Physical Map Dimension (cm):
92 x 76 cm, on sheet 111 x 87 cm
This nautical chart was clearly made from a map of the same region by Joan Blaeu in 1667. It depicts part of the Southeast coast of China with the Island of Taiwan (Formosa), the Kyushu islands and part of Honshu. Korea can be seen as a very small island. Characteristic of nautical charts the map focus on waterways and inshore areas with quite a number of toponyms while the interior remains mostly blank. The same is true for toponyms on Taiwan that appear heavily on the west side of the island, while on the east they are scarce.
Original is a colored manuscript map on parchment, 92 x 76 cm.
Title from provenance library.
There is a 32-point compass rose on the map with a fleur-de-lis indicating north, colored blue, yellow, red, green and magenta. The rhumb lines for the principal winds are black, half-winds are green and quarter-winds are red.
Table of leagues on the right bottom corner of the map in ornamented cartouche colored red, blue, yellow and magenta.
Relief shown pictorially.
Latitude line roughly in the middle of the map in red, blue and yellow interchangeably.
Landmasses outlined in blue, green, yellow and magenta with small islands painted in the same colors.
Tropic of Cancer in red double fillet.
Toponyms on land are written in black and on water in red.
Map with yellow border.
Authorship and notes in English with Tropic line in Latin. Place names both in English and Portuguese.
Foncin, M. Catalogue des cartes nautiques sur vélin conservées au Département des cartes et plans, p. 296
Pflederer, R. Census of Portolan Charts & Atlases: as reported and listed by the noted scholars of the genre in their works ranging from 1897 to 2008, p. 69
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Provenance Call No.:
GE SH 18 PF 181 P 4 RES