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Frankfurt am Main
"Xutien alias Quizay". Orig. copper-engraving from M. Merian's Archontologica Cosmica, 1638. With decorative title and many ships. 18,5:26 cm (7 1/4 x 10 1/4 inch).
A birds-eye-view of Chinese city of Hangzhou (Hangchow, Hang-Tschou). - A reduced version of Jansson's unusual plan of the city of Quinzay [Hangchow] that was based on the account given by Marco Polo. Quinzay is a corruption of the Chinese King-sze meaning "Capital" or great city. The actual name for Quinzay in this period was Lin-ngan, which was the capital of the ruling Sung Dynasty. Polo recounted perhaps with his typical tendency for exaggeration its 12000 bridges, massive network of canals, paved roads and its large Lake [Si-hu or Western Lake] some 30 miles in diameter with island pavilions and palaces upon it. It is a beautiful bird's eye view and one of very few ever done of a Chinese City.