Achille Dardano

Artist's Biography

Dono Della"Tribuna" ai Suoi Abbonati Carte Della Cina E Delle Regioni Limitrofe.

Lithograph, 1901.
Image 35 1/8 x 23 3/8" (89 x 61.8 cm).
Good condition save for some minor splitting and or paper fills along fold lines and fold intersections.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 95981
Price: $795.00
Publisher :
China during the Boxer Rebellion.

This rare large-format, Italian language map depicts all of Eastern and Central China, the Korean Peninsula, and parts of adjacent countries. It was issued during the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), which led to another Western intervention into China. All of China’s provinces, major cities, railways and roads are marked, including the Great Wall and Grand Canal. The map employs colors to distinguish imperial Chinese territory with that of the numerous Western concessions, including those of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Portugal. The map also features fine inset maps of Beijing proper (upper left) and the Beijing-Tientsin Corridor (lower right). The folding map is accompanied by an 8-page index, altogether housed within original printed wrappers.

The map was designed by Achille Dardano (1870-1938), a prolific Italian cartographer who is perhaps best known for his maps of Italy’s African colonies and for his custom maps illustrating Italian academic journals. This is certainly one of his most impressive works.

Dardano’s map was chromolithographed in nine colors with remarkable skill in Como, Italy by the workshop of Giovanni De Agostoni (1863 - 1941), a prominent Italian geographer and publisher. De Agostini trained in cartography under the legendary German mapmaker Heinrich Kieppert (1818-99), where he became proficient in scientific and thematic cartographic methods. While in Germany he published an essay on Tierra del Fuego that gained great acclaim from the international geography community.

Upon his return to Italy, De Agostini worked at the Military Geographic Institute of Florence and at the Hydrographic Institute in Genoa. This led him to publish his pioneering scientific atlas on the Italian Alpine lakes, Atlante Limnologico.

In 1900, De Agostini established his own map publishing house at Como, Stabilimento Cartografico del Dott. G. De Agostini. The present map is one of the few works printed there, before he moved his establishment to Rome late in 1901. Later, he moved the company to Novara, where it prospered, becoming one of the largest private cartographic studios in Italy. De Agostini specialized in the large, beautifully designed and colored works.

The present map was produced as a loose-leaf insert to the Como Tribuna, but was quite likely also sold separately. Italy was then a participant in the International coalition that put down the Boxer Rebellion, so interest in China and its internal melodramas was of great interest throughout the Italian Kingdom.