Verbiest’s World Map 坤與全圖

David Leffman Antiques, map, Mesny, Verbiest, William Gill, Woodblock print Leave a Comment

In 2016 I was extraordinarily lucky to come across this woodblock-printed world map at an antiques stall in Beijing. (The poor quality of the photo is because they didn’t want me taking one, and I had to sneak it from a distance with my ancient, low-res ipod touch camera. They wouldn’t sell me the print either.) The original version dates …

Feathers, Fakes and Fees

David Leffman Antiques, Fakes Leave a Comment

I’m no expert in Chinese antiques, but I have spent a lot of time browsing antiques markets all over the country, looking at everything from old woodblock prints to iron cannon and pieces of nineteenth-century official regalia. These include rank decorations such as “hat buttons” (maoding, 帽顶), a coloured bead mounted on top of an official’s headgear, and “mandarin squares” …