Anking at dawn
Anking at dawn

Unusual manuscript map

Anking at dawn

n.p., n.d. [ca. mid-20th century]. Hand-drawn plan of the city in pencil and ink, approximately 26½" x 21", mounted on a scroll, overall 34" x 23". On the verso of the scroll is the title in ink, "Anking at Dawn. H.B.P." Needless to say H.B.P. has not been identified. Anking most likely refers to the modern city of Anqing in Anhui province, approximately 400 miles up the Yangzi River from Shanghai. This city has a long history dating back to the Han Dynasty. The Battle of Anqing in 1860 occurred in the midst of the Taiping Rebellion. Linguistically, the drawing indicates that it could come from this region, as there are a few English misspellings which indicate the inability to distinguish between ‘n’ and ‘l’, i.e. “good light” instead of “good night”, as well as a few grammatical mistakes, so the artist/cartographer is likely native. As shown in this plan, Anqing was walled, though in 1927 the walls were torn down. The Chinese characters are in traditional script, which was replaced by the simplified script in 1956, so while this likely predates 1956 (and to look at it I'd guess it was made in the 1940s), this could also have been done after 1956, as the artist could have been old and casting his or her mind back on a memory of the old city. There are about 10 brief quips in English next to select buildings, mostly pertaining to morning rituals: "Patricia, dear, it's time for breakfast. Come on down, honey." "Is this the hospital? / No hospital around here that I ever heard of." "'Good light,' she said. 'I had a lice time'." "Wawa! Sh! dear. It's out [i.e. our] quiet hour." We're unsure whether the drawing is an accurate representation of what Anqing looked like in the past. Unfortunately, the Yangzi River is not included in this drawing, which would have served as a great reference point. Item #48335

Price: $750.00

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