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Lot 0085
Colonel Frank Dorn (American, 1901-1981), Illustrated map of Beijing or Peking, China, published in Tientsin-Peiping, China by Peiyang Press, 1936. Representing the golden age of pictorial maps, an iconic map of Beijing or Peking, China created by Colonel (later Brigadier General) Frank Dorn who was an accomplished artist and writer as well as the aid to General Joseph Stilwell who commanded the United States and Chinese Nationalist resistance to the Japanese incursions into China and Burma (modern day Myanmar). The map depicts the entirety of Beijing contained within the old city walls as well as surrounding areas. In addition to being accurate cartographicallly, Dorn presents wonderful illustrated vignettes that pictorially describe the history of Beijing. The border is also impressive with its meticulous chronology and illustrated annotations, i.e. 'Decadent Period under the Ch'ings' and 'Capital of Kublai Khan 1264.' The text at the bottom reads, "A Map and History of Peiping; formerly known as Peking, capital of provinces, princedoms, and kingdoms since 1121 B.C.; in 1264 A.D. the capital of the Mongol Empire of Kublai Khan; made the capital of the Ming Empire and built as it is today by Yung Lo in 1421; continued as the capital of the Chinese Empire through the Ming and Ching Dynasties; and now a city which will live long in the memory of man as one of the greatest the world has ever known. Completed on this fifth day of February in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Thirty-Six." A rare and iconic map from the golden era of illustrated maps, mounted on a beautiful scroll (probably paper with shiny silk threads) of a pale blue floral pattern. Size: map itself measures 28" W x 32.25" H (71.1 cm x 81.9 cm); mounted on scroll 34" W x 40" H (86.4 cm x 101.6 cm)

According to the experts at Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, "Frank 'Pinky' Dorn (June 25, 1901 - July 26, 1981) was an American artist, 'old China hand,' and military officer active in East Asia during the middle part of the 20th century. Dorn was born in San Francisco California and later studied at West Point after which he was commissioned in the Field Artillery. He served in the Philippines from 1926 to 1929 and became an instructor at the Field Artillery School from 1930 to 1933. Moved to Beijing in 1934 where he studied Chinese. It was during this period that Dorn made his greatest contribution to cartography, his iconic pictorial Map and History of Peiping. Dorn's important map, issued in 1936, followed in the artistic-cartographic style of Jo Mora (1876-1847), with whom he was acquainted and whose work he admired. During the war he was assigned as an aide to Brigadier General 'Uncle Joe' Stilwell in the Burma theater under whom he served from 1939 - 1942. There is some indication that Dorn may have served as a field cartographer under Stilwell, but none of these maps seem to have survived. After the war he was elevated to the rank of Brigadier General and served from 1944 to 1945 as the commander of the China Training and Combat Command. He retired 1953 and returned to San Francisco where he devoted the remainder of his life to painting. Apparently he got in with the psychedelic movement and produced a number of paintings to this effect. Dorn died in 1981 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery." (http://www.geographicus.com/P/AntiqueMap/BeijingPeking-frankdorn-1936#sthash.yJYxl4Vp.dpuf)

Provenance: Ex-private LA collection. Emmy Award Winning Hollywood writer and Executive Producer, collected before 2000.

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Minor creases to map and surrounding blue scroll as shown. Small hole at top left of blue scroll and a scratch here and there. Overall very good.

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1936 Illustrated Map of Peiping (Beijing) in English

Estimate $1,500 - $2,500Sep 22, 2016
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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