London: Robert Sayer, 1773. unbound. Map on two sheets. Copper plate engraving with original outline hand coloring. Each image measures 20.25 x 47". Each sheet measures 22 x 50.5"
This large-scale map on two sheets shows the conteint of Asia on a polar projection. Beginning at the "Icy Sea" of the Arctic Circle, the map extends southward all the way to Papua New Guinea. Within this range, the map includes all of South East Asia, many islands in the Pacific, and Arabia. It is extremely detailed with cities, rivers, and mountain ranges. Notes indicate Russian, English, and Dutch discoveries, as well as Captain Cook's 1770 voyage. A large decorative title cartouche in the upper left corner depicts an Asian merchant with his exotic wares and the camel he uses to transport them. The title is framed by a palm tree and a puff of smoke, two symbols of the Orientalism that characterized European ideas of Asia in this period. Both sheets of the map are in very good condition with substantial margins. Repairs to original fold near Zanzibar. Robert Sayer (1725-1794) was an important English publisher of maps, portraits, and nautical engravings. Partnering with John Bennett around the 1760s, the two published the works of well-known cartographers such as Kitchen, Jefferys, Belling, d'Anville and others. This beautiful, large-scale map is an impressive example of his work.