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Scarce map in old colour
Japan by P. Van der Aa 1713

The Englishman William Adams came to Japan in 1600 as the first Dutch ship's pilot. He was taken into the service of the shogun and died in Hirado in 1620 without returning to Europe. Although he also took geographical measurements, there is no map of Japan known to have been produced by him. Van der Aa, however, provided him with a monument in European cartography. In a collection of travel descriptions, he included two of Adams's letters that Adam had given to employees of the Dutch East India Company to bring back to Europe. The map's cartouche, included, as an illustration, shows Adams during an audience with the shogun, who sits under a baldachin on a fancifully portrayed throne. The depiction of Japan follows the Dudley/Janssonius type in the manner of Sanson. However, Sanson's southwestern tip of Ezo with "Le Tessoy" here belongs to "China" because Van der Aa could not make sense of the arrangement based on Dudley. The mountains along the coasts of Ezo and Korea are found in two later variations of Sanson's map that are not shown here. The place names are also taken from Sanson, though Van der Aa understandably thought it necessary to add the audience's location with the shogun shown in the cartouche. "Eddo" is found in the interior, equidistant from the coasts of the Pacific ("Mare Iaponia") and the Sea of Japan ("Oceanus Chinensis"), roughly where it is shown on Janssonius's map of 1658. (Walter)

Van der Aa reused the Japan map engraved for Adams's letter of 1706. The map's image remained unchanged, but a French legend was added in the bottom margin.


Pieter van der Aa (Leiden, 1659-1733)

Pieter van der Aa was already in 1682 owner of a bookshop and auction house. During his life, he has published an enormous amount of printed material.
After 1700, van der Aa increasingly specialised in books on geography and travel.
He published composite atlases, a series of geographical descriptions of European countries, and some very spectacular works. Between 1706 and 1708 he published the Naauweurige versameling der gedenkwaardigste zee- en land-reysen, in 28 volumes.
Many of Van der Aa’s publications are richly illustrated with maps and plates. He took over many copperplates and prints from other publishers such as Carel Allard and Frederik De Wit. The composite atlases that appeared from his workshop contain a curious mixture of his own material, copies of maps from other publishers, and reprints made from old copper plates, now with his own imprint.
The Galérie agréable du monde, was completed in 1729, and comprised 66 parts, bound in 27 volumes. Van der Aa presented it as a good investment; after publication, the antiquarian value of the work would double, the more so since it was printed in a limited edition of only one hundred copies.

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William Adams Reystogt na Oost-Indien; Avontuurlyk door de Straat Magellaan, in't Keyzerryk van Japan Voleyndigd.

€1400  ($1512 / £1190)
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Item Number:  26121 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Asia > Japan

Old, antique map of Japan by P. Van der Aa

Date of the first edition: 1706
Date of this map: 1713

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 16 x 22.5cm (6.2 x 8.8 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Original coloured, trimmed to neatline and mounted on heavy paper at an early time.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt A, 59:02; Koeman, Aa7 (150); Walter L., OAG 64.

From: Nouvel Atlas, très exact et fort commode pour toutes sortes de personnes, Contenant Les Principales cartes géographiques. Leiden, P. Van der Aa, n.d. (1713) (Koeman, Aa7).

Van der Aa maps are rarely found in original colouring.

The Englishman William Adams came to Japan in 1600 as the first Dutch ship's pilot. He was taken into the service of the shogun and died in Hirado in 1620 without returning to Europe. Although he also took geographical measurements, there is no map of Japan known to have been produced by him. Van der Aa, however, provided him with a monument in European cartography. In a collection of travel descriptions, he included two of Adams's letters that Adam had given to employees of the Dutch East India Company to bring back to Europe. The map's cartouche, included, as an illustration, shows Adams during an audience with the shogun, who sits under a baldachin on a fancifully portrayed throne. The depiction of Japan follows the Dudley/Janssonius type in the manner of Sanson. However, Sanson's southwestern tip of Ezo with "Le Tessoy" here belongs to "China" because Van der Aa could not make sense of the arrangement based on Dudley. The mountains along the coasts of Ezo and Korea are found in two later variations of Sanson's map that are not shown here. The place names are also taken from Sanson, though Van der Aa understandably thought it necessary to add the audience's location with the shogun shown in the cartouche. "Eddo" is found in the interior, equidistant from the coasts of the Pacific ("Mare Iaponia") and the Sea of Japan ("Oceanus Chinensis"), roughly where it is shown on Janssonius's map of 1658. (Walter)

Van der Aa reused the Japan map engraved for Adams's letter of 1706. The map's image remained unchanged, but a French legend was added in the bottom margin.


Pieter van der Aa (Leiden, 1659-1733)

Pieter van der Aa was already in 1682 owner of a bookshop and auction house. During his life, he has published an enormous amount of printed material.
After 1700, van der Aa increasingly specialised in books on geography and travel.
He published composite atlases, a series of geographical descriptions of European countries, and some very spectacular works. Between 1706 and 1708 he published the Naauweurige versameling der gedenkwaardigste zee- en land-reysen, in 28 volumes.
Many of Van der Aa’s publications are richly illustrated with maps and plates. He took over many copperplates and prints from other publishers such as Carel Allard and Frederik De Wit. The composite atlases that appeared from his workshop contain a curious mixture of his own material, copies of maps from other publishers, and reprints made from old copper plates, now with his own imprint.
The Galérie agréable du monde, was completed in 1729, and comprised 66 parts, bound in 27 volumes. Van der Aa presented it as a good investment; after publication, the antiquarian value of the work would double, the more so since it was printed in a limited edition of only one hundred copies.

References: Van der Krogt A - 59:02; Koeman - Aa7 (150); Walter L. - OAG 64

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