Wells’ Map of AsiaSKU: 8940
Wells’ Map of Asia
Date of publication:
37.5 x 51.5 cm
A New Map of Present Asia; Present Asia … Distinguisht into its general Divisions or Countries together with their Capital Cities Chief Rivers Mountain etc.
Copper engraving, 37.5 x 51.5 cm, engraved by Michael Burghers, later hand-colour, blank verso. Published in ‘A New Sett of Maps both of Antient and Present Geography’, which was dedicated by Wells, a mathematician and teacher of geography at Christchurch, Oxford, to his eleven year old pupil Prince William, Duke of Gloucester. The young Prince was then a student at the College. His mother would later reign as Queen Anne. Unfortunately, all seventeen of her children, including William, predeceased her.
Although the geography is somewhat simplified for educational purposes – Wells says that the maps are intended for young students in the Universities – our map displays typical cartographic misconceptions of the period, including ‘Companies Land’ north of Japan, which was potentially linked to the west coast of North America, and ‘Chiama Lake’, the mythical source of the river system in mainland southeast Asia. Shirley, Maps in the Atlases of the British Library, T.Well-1a.