Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Nov 01 2020

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1760 - Carte reduite des terres Australes / Gereduceerde kaart van't Zuid-land

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
Jacques Bellin 275 x 210 mmD1 / M314 / I280Very good condition. Full margins. Minor ink transfer in corner. Outside plate mark in margin is a small hole. Minor creasing. Some barely noticeable foxing.

One of the few 18 th century maps concentrating on the Australian continent and showing the east coast joined from New Guinea to Tasmania .This piece comes from the Dutch edition which has both the French and Dutch descriptions and names. It comes from a 1760 edition of Prevost's work.

This chart of Australia exemplifies French theoretical cartography during the mid-18 th century of which Bellin was a leading exponent. This school of cartography attempted to complete Australia 's uncharted coastline by joining in the remaining gaps. As a result, Australia 's east coast forms a hypothetical continuous line from New Guinea to Tasmania , swelling out to include the New Hebrides ('Terre du St Esprit'). To his credit, Bellin does note in reference to the east coast that he supposes Tasmania will be joined to the New Hebrides . He also states in reference to the south coast, that his charting of the eastern section from Nuyts land to Tasmania is conjectural.

Bellin also notes in reference to Tasman's discoveries in New Zealand , that the coast discovered by Tasman may well be part of a large southland at the antipodes of Europe . Cook's charting of New Zealand 's two islands some seventeen years later than Bellin's map, laid to rest any further conjecture regarding the existence of 'Terra Australis Incognita'.

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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