Chinae, olim Sinarum Regionis, nova descriptio. Auctore Ludovico Georgio.

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Old coloured map of China. Printed in Antwerp by A. Ortelius circa 1587.

More details

Reference 11521

3 400,00 €

Shipping excl.


Ortelius' Stunning Map of China with Old Colour.

Old coloured map of China by Abraham Ortelius. The map is oriented to the west, north is on the right side. This is the first map of China ever appeared in a western atlas. This copy was printed from the second state of the plate with the inscription las Philippinas added to Palawan and comes from a German edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

During the time of publication, this was by far the most accurate map of China know in the West. The map is based on a manuscript map of China by Luiz Jorge de Barbuda or Ludovicus Georgius which was given to Ortelius by Arias Montanus in 1580 (Meurer p. 111-112). To the north, the Great Wall is mentioned but underestimated in length by far, since only 400 miles are shown. Japan is based most likely on Portugiese charts of the time.

Decorated with three beautiful cartouches, two galleons, a sea monster, four wind waggon, many tents, elephants and deer. German text on verso, with a transcription of four Chinese characters.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleChinae, olim Sinarum Regionis, nova descriptio. Auctore Ludovico Georgio.
Publisher, YearA. Ortelius, Antwerp, circa 1587
Plate Size36.7 x 47.4 cm (14.4 x 18.7 inches)
Sheet Size40.3 x 54.3 cm (15.9 x 21.4 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 141; Van der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 8410:31; Suarez, T.: Early Mapping of Southeast Asia, pp. 164-170, Fig. 88.


A larger tear to the lower right backed, a tear to the lower left just into the image backed, a missing part of right margin repaired, not affecting the image. Upper and lower margin and centrefold partly backed. Beautiful old colour.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

Images to Download

If you like to download the image of this map with a resolution of 1200 pixels, please follow the link below.

You can use this image for publication on your personal or commercial websites for free if you set a link to this website. If you need photographs with a higher resolution, please contact us.

Abraham Ortelius: Chinae, olim Sinarum Regionis, nova descriptio. Auctore Ludovico Georgio..
Old coloured map of China. Printed in Antwerp by A. Ortelius circa 1587.

China - Ortelius, Abraham - Chinae, olim Sinarum Regionis, nova...

Accept We use cookies to optimize and continuously improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies. Further information on cookies can be found in our Privacy Statement.