Printed from Catalogue on Thursday, Oct 28 2021

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1812 - Oceanique Centrale

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
Conrad Malte-Brun 300 x 220 mmD1 / M16 / I92Please contact us for the condition report

Only the second published, complete map of Australia and the first to name Flinders' discoveries.

Lapie's fine map of Australia was published just one year after his fellow compatriot, Louis Claude Freycinet's map, which lays claim to being the first complete map of the continent. Lapie's map closely follows the geography of Freycinet's, which at the time was the only one to detail the charting of the south-west coast of Australia, recording the exploits of the 1800-1804 Baudin expedition. The French chose to completely ignore the British discoveries by Flinders, in spite of the fact that he had charted most of the coast before the French. As a result, only French names were used for this part of the coast on Freycinet's map such as 'Terre Napoleon', 'Golfe Josephine' and 'Golfe Bonaparte'. This was a clear attempt by the French to claim for themselves, the south-east coast of Australia. The English territorial claims by Cook on Australia's east coast were respected however. At this stage, Flinders' account of his own circumnavigation of Australia with its compliment of maps had not been published. That occurred in 1814, following his release from six and a half years in captivity on Mauritius by the French. Once the English had been supplied with proof that Flinders had charted the south-east before the French, a fair degree of political friction occurred between the two countries.

Lapie's map is of great interest because unlike its predecessor (Freycinet's map), Lapie makes three acknowledgements of Flinders (and Grant's) presence in the area: Tdecres' ('I. des Kangourous selon Flinders'); 'C.Bouflers' ('C.Northumberland selon Flinders et Grant'); 'C.Brune' (C.Catastrophe selon Flinders'). It is therefore the first published map of Australia to acknowledge Flinders' discoveries. Lapie's map features an attractive vignette of a wombat, bandicoot, Aboriginal and a canoe - based on illustrations by Lesueur. Charles Lesueur was the young artist on Baudin's voyage, famous for his fine illustrations of Australian animals. Pierre Lapie was the first geographer to the King of France and chief of the topographic section of the War Office.

This information is adapted from the Printed World catalogue series, one of the most enjoyable and informative Australian Antique map catalogues available, created and compiled by Simon Dewez.

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