A Rare Pre-Cook Map Focusing on Australia
"Carte Reduite des Terres Australes pour Servir a l'Histoire des Voyages", Bellin, Jacques Nicolas
Period: 1753 (dated)
Publication: Prevost's Histoire Generale des Voyages
Color: Hand Color
11 x 8 inches
27.9 x 20.3 cm
This is one of the few 18th century maps to focus on the Australian continent prior to Cook's famous first voyage from 1768-1771. Mainland Australia is connected to both Tasmania (Terre de Van Diemen) and Papua New Guinea (Nouv. Guinee). Along the imaginary eastern coastline is a note that reads: "I suppose that the land of Diemen can join with the land of the Holy Ghost, but this is without proof." A partial coastline of New Zealand is shown peeking out of the corner of the map, with a note that it was discovered by Abel Tasmand in 1642 and speculation that it might be part of a great southern continent. This is an important map of Australia depicting the interesting theories made prior to exploration of the region later in the century.
References: Tooley (Australia) p. 24, #156; Tooley (MCC-23) #80.
Issued folding, now pressed on watermarked paper with a couple of minute holes at fold intersections and a fold separation in left blank margin that has been repaired on verso with old paper.