Arrowsmith's wall map of Japan and Eastern Russia
By ARROWSMITH, Aaron. , 1811

Map of the Island of Japan, Kurile &c. with the Adjacent Coasts of the Chinese Dominions and a Sketch of the River Amoor and the Baikal Lake Including the Trading Posts of Russia and China and their relative situations with Peking. Delineated by A. Arrowsmith 1811.

Asia Japan
  • Author: ARROWSMITH, Aaron.
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published by A. Arrowsmith, No. 10 Soho Square, Hydrographer to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales
  • Publication date: 4th January, 1811. Additions to 1818.
  • Physical description: Large engraved map, on four sheets, joined as two, fine original outline hand-colour.
  • Dimensions: 1330 by 1740mm (52.25 by 68.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1077


Large and detailed map of Japan and the northeast coast of Asia.

This map is a fine example of Arrowsmith’s relentless updating of his maps. First issued in 1811, the map shows the tracks of some of the most important naval expeditions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, which charted the waters around Japan, Korea, North East China, and Russia’s Pacific coast. These include those made by La Perouse (1787); HMS ‘Hindostan’ which carried Lord George Macartney on his embassy to China; Broughton in HMS ‘Providence’ (1797); and the “track of the Russian’s in 1805” – Admiral Krusenstern, who led the first Russian circumnavigation. For this 1818 edition Arrowsmith has also added the the track of HMS ‘Alceste’, and HC Ship ‘Discovery’ which, made several voyages around the Yellow Sea in 1816. Arrowsmith most probably drew upon the surgeon aboard the ‘Alceste’, John McCloed, and his book ‘A narrative of a Voyage to the Yellow Sea’ (1818), for the most up-to-date information.

Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was the finest cartographer of his generation. Although he received little formal education it is believed that he was taught some mathematical instruction by William Emerson, an author of several books on the application of mathematics to the area of cartography. Around 1770, Arrowsmith moved to London to seek employment. It is believed that he worked for William Faden before joining John Cary Sr. in the early 1780s. There he provided the measurements for John Cary’s early publication detailing the roads from London to Falmouth, his first signed work. Arrowsmith set up on his own in 1790 and over the next thirty years produced some of the most beautiful and elegant maps of the era.


  1. BLMC Maps 17.a.16.