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Tartaria sive Magnichami Imperiorum: Merian 1680

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  • Title: Tartaria sive Magnichami Imperiorum
  • Author: Matthäus Merian
  • Date: 1680
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very Good Plus - light age toning, light wear along issued center fold, minor scuffing in margins and top portion of image, slight fading of text in areas
  • Inches: 14 x 11 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 35.56 x 27.94 [Image]
  • Product ID: 233068

Map of the historical region of Tartary, a European term that referred to the Asian regions located between the Caspian Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Prior to the nineteenth century, European knowledge of North, Central, and East Asian geography was limited, hence the general application of this name to such a broad region. Map includes parts of China, Europe, Persia, Mongolia, and the China Sea.

Matthaus Merian the Elder was born in Basel, Switzerland on the 22nd of September 1593. He began his career in the arts with the engraver Friedrich Meyer in Zurich, where he studied copper engraving as well as drawing. In 1619 he went to Frankfurt and was employed by the well-known publisher Johann Theodor de Bry. He would go on to take over and complete two works started in 1590 by de Bry, Grand Voyages and Petit Voyages respectively. Merian the Elder is perhaps most known for the work he produced in partnership with Martin Zeiller titled Topographia, one of the largest publishing works at the time, which ultimately totaled 21 volumes. The work was continued by Merian’s sons Matthaus the Younger and Caspar upon his death in June of 1650.