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Fine Art Reproductions of Historical Maps & Charts

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Plan of Old Peking

A beautiful little hand drawn and coloured Plan of Old Peking and the Forbidden City

Chart Information
Reference: A1102
Date 1880
Hydrographer/Surveyor/Artist: Unknown
Size Of Original: w45cm x h62cm (w17" x h24")
Paper Type Epsom Cotton Rag 280gsm

Further Information

This hand-drawn plan of Old Peking was in the hands of the British Foreign Office as of 1880. How much older than that it is is hard to tell but it is typical of the type of information on Peking and China that the British were trying to amass throughout the 19th century.

Beside from the obviously well-traveled and somewhat battered state of the plan, is the fact that it is labelled and annotated in both Chinese and English.  Whether the Plan is of Chinese or British authorship is questionable as, despite the translations and the manner in which side-notes have been added to it, it appears to be in the same hand throughout. Of little doubt however is that, as beautiful it is today, it would likely have been a true work of art when it was made with vibrant colors which have sadly faded to the sepia browns we see today.

The notation on the top right of the Plan states: The slate colored squares or oblongs are foreign devils residences, or Imperial Granaries. The slate coloured line all round the City represents the wall. The blue line outside that is the moat. Unfortunately the water in that moat isnt half such a pretty color of blue..

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Plan of Old Peking
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