Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Mar 28 2021

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1774 - Carte de la Partie Meridionale de la Mer du Sud

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
Etienne Phillippe De Pretot 470 x 190 mmD2 / M188 / I82Very Fine condition

A reduced version of Dalrymple's chart, this map shows the tracks of many explorers including Tasman, Schouten, Mendana, Quiros, Torres and Roggevin. Of particular interest is the track of Torres, who in 1606 became the first recorded European to make the voyage through the Strait that separates Australia and New Guinea . Ironically, Torres was not aware that he had achieved this honour, in fact Europeans had not yet discovered Australia at this time. This is one of the very few maps to show Torres' track.

Ironically, the map's title states that only those discoveries up to 1764 are shown. Australia is named 'Nouvelle Hollande'. Unlike many other French maps of this period, Australia 's east coast has not been hypothetically joined from New Guinea to Tasmania . This may be due to the fact that at the time this map was made, the French would have had knowledge of Cook's discovery of Australia 's east coast, although those discoveries aren't recorded here.

This map was made under the direction of Robert de Vaugondy, whose maps were used by Cook on his epic voyage to Australia in 1770. Pretot was Censeur Royal as well as Professor of History at the Royal Academy of Sciences.

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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