Daniel Crouch Rare Books Offers Collection of Maps of Japan at the Tokyo Book Fair, March 23-25
Jason Hubbard bought his first map in 1971. Since then, he has built up a collection of over 800 items relating to Japan, put together over a lifetime of acquisition and scholarship.
The collection contains nearly 400 individual maps of Japan, from 1522 to 1960, with 220 of those maps printed before 1800. There are also nearly 150 regional, city and road maps of Japan, including manuscript ephemera. The main collection is supplemented by a broader collection of Asian maps featuring Japan, giving extensive coverage of eastern Asia. There is also a collection of 82 sea charts covering southeast Asia.
The entire collection is on offer for $2.2 million.
Highlights include the only known example of Christophoro Blancus and Inácio Moreira’s map of Japan, the most accurate representation of the country at the time of engraving.
The wider focus of the collection is represented by the rare first edition of Hendrik Doncker’s exquisite sea chart of the Indian Ocean. It is one of the earliest maps to show the new Dutch discoveries in Australia: previously there had been no proof of any land that far south, despite belief in a mythical “Terra Australis” at the south pole.A set of proof maps, an unusual survival, prepared by Nicholas de Fer for Jacques Robbe’s geographical text, demonstrates Hubbard’s interest in the process of cartographic history. Printed maps might go through several versions before their final published state, but the earlier proofs were normally discarded.
The collection will be offered as a whole, as a unique opportunity to obtain an astonishingly comprehensive survey of Japan in European cartography and literature from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, focusing in particular on the evolution of European printed cartography of Japan before 1800.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of the Japanese language edition of Jason Hubbard’s book, ‘Japoniae Insulae: The Mapping of Japan’. Mr Hubbard will be at the Daniel Crouch Rare Books stand at the Tokyo Book Fair.
Image: BLANCUS, Christopher and MOREIRA, Inacio. IAPONIA, Rome, 1617.