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Spectacular old color 1593 De Jode map of Asia, with important depiction of Taiwan and the Great Wall of China.

Place/Date: Antwerp / 1593
Title: Asia, Partium Orbis Maxima
46.3 x 37 cm (18.2 x 14.5 in)
Old color
Condition Rating


Marvelous example of Gerard de Jode’s map of Asia (originally based on the landmark work of Giacomo Gastaldi), published by his son Cornelius in Speculum Orbis Terrae.

The geography shown on the map is an interesting mix of 16th century notions of East Asia, a region still largely misunderstood in Europe. To the south of an oddly shaped Japan, De Jode follows Ortelius’s (1570 Asiae Nova Descriptio and Indiae Orientalis) depiction of the Ryukyu island chain, with one important exception. Both cartographers use the terms Lequiho and Lequio to label islands in the chain, and both name Formosa (Taiwan). Furthermore, both seem to make the same error in applying the label I. Fermosa to one of the smaller islands to the north. As T. Suárez points out, true Taiwan would instead seem to be the island of Lequiho pequinho to the south at the correct latitude, being centered at about 25º north (Taiwan spans 21º 55’ to 25º 15’). The crucial difference between this map and those of Ortelius is that De Jode’s Lequeio minor is much larger and more prominent, as well as closer to its true position north of Luzon.

As such, this map represents a key development in the mapping of Formosa/Taiwan.

The map also depicts the Great Wall of China, highlighted in red and complete with towers, protecting the Chinese Empire along its northern border. Korea is missing completely. Singapore is labeled (Sinapura) and the Philippines is an unusual mix of islands.

The title is set in the classic De Jode panel with strapwork designs and two figures.

A true collectors’ item — rare and beautiful.


Cornelius de Jode

Cornelis de Jode (1568 – 1600) was a cartographer, engraver and publisher from Antwerp. He was the son of Gerard de Jode, also a cartographer.

When his father died in 1591, Cornelis de Jode took over the work on his father’s uncompleted atlas, which he eventually published in 1593 as Speculum Orbis Terrae.

After his death, the engraving plates were sold to J. B. Vrients (who also owned the Ortelius plates), and the complete work was not published again, in part to ensure the primacy of Ortelius productions.

Condition Description

Excellent condition.


Suárez, Thomas. Early Mapping of Southeast Asia: The Epic Story of Seafarers, Adventurers, and Cartographers who first mapped the regions between China and India. Singapore: Periplus, p. 165.

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