Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Mar 28 2021

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1774 - Carte De La N'le Galles Merid'le ou de la cote Oriental de la N'le Hollande…

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
James Cook
770 x 360 mmD1 / M27 / I22corner torn outside neatline. Original folds.

This is the first French edition of the first published chart of the east coast of Australia . As was often the case at the time and because of the popularity and importance of Cook's discoveries a French edition of Cook's first voyage was published only a year after the English edition in 1774.

The first published full-scale map of the east coast of Australia is based on the charts drawn by Cook during the Endeavour's survey of the entire length of coastline in 1770. Cook's discoveries and the Endeavour's track from 19 April to 22 August 1770 are marked on the map. A significant aspect of the map is that many of the place names given by Cook have remained unchanged to this day. Although stopping at Botany Bay , Cook ironically failed to realise the significance of Port Jackson, which lay only kilometres to the north. It wasn't until some eighteen years later in 1788 that Governor Phillip made the first discovery of the harbour that would become the birthplace of Sydney .

It is noted on the map that a section of the coast north of the Endeavour River was not seen by the expedition and is therefore not charted. While sailing in the hazardous waters off present day Cooktown, the Endeavour ran aground and needed extensive repair work. This work successfully undertaken at the mouth of the Endeavour River . Fearing for the future safety of his boat and crew, Cook sailed out past the reefs and continued his voyage beyond the sight of land, failing therefore to accurately record this stretch of coastline.

This map represents one of the most substantial single cartographic achievements in Australia 's history.

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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