Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Mar 28 2021

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1771 - Development de la Route Faite Autour Le Monde……

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
Louis Antoine de Bougainville 528 x 208 mmD1 / M184 / I78Very good condition

The first depiction of any part of Australia 's east coast based on actual observation. This map shows the tracks of Bougainville 's ships the Boudeuse and L'Etoile around the world in 1766 - 1769 .

The end of the 18 th century was an unsettling time for the French. They had lost the Falkland Islands to Spain and had no real presence in the Pacific. Their concern over British development there coupled with their desire to establish a presence in the Pacific led to the planning of Louis Antoine de Bougainville's voyage. His directive was to sail to the Falklands and formally surrender the French possession to the Spanish. While doing so it was planned that he should search for lands that the French could claim as their own in order to maintain a foothold in the area. The resulting voyage around the world was France 's first such achievement.

Uring the voyage, Bougainville sighted part of the Great Barrier Reef and noted wood and plant debris in the water assuming the presence of land beyond the reef. This map is notable as it is the first to depict part of Australia's east coast based on actual nautical observation rather than wild assumption (so clearly indicated in French maps of Australia during the mid-18 th century). Bougainville wrote "…these pieces of wood, fruit and seaweed we are finding, the calmness of the sea, the currents, everything tells us that for several days we have had land to the southeast. I believe that it runs south-east and north-west…" Bougainville was also the first to discover and name any part of offshore eastern Australia (Diane Bank and Bougainville Reef - Reef - off Cooktown). It was also from this trip that the French first discovered and named the Bougainvillaea.

This information is adopted 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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