Important 17th Century map of the Indian Ocean. This elegantly composed map is one of the earliest French maps to show the groundbreaking 17th century discoveries that occurred in Australia. Notably, it features the explorations of Abel Tasman, derived from his voyages to Australia and New Zealand, from 1642 to 1644. Lands recently encountered by Dutch East India Company (VOC) explorers include the south coast of Tasmania, the west coast of Cape York, and the coast of Arnhem Land. Originally first published in 1665 from Duval’s atlas, Cartes de Geographie les Plus Nouvelles. The outlines of the coasts of South and East Asia are very advanced for the time. India, Indochina and the Malaya Peninsula are based on the latest VOC published sea charts, and present a view familiar to the modern observer. The Indonesian Archipelago is generally well formed, although New Guinea takes on a somewhat crude shape. China is shown in fairly assured form and features the depiction of the Great Wall, while Korea is correctly shown to be a peninsula. Japan, south of Hokkaido, is quite accurately represented. Pierre du Val (1619-1683) was ‘Geographe Ordinaire’ to Louis XIV. As evidenced by the present map, Du Val was known for his careful selection of sources and his tasteful, somewhat restrained, employment of ornamentation combined with virtuous engraving.
Size image: 54 cm x 40 cm
Early 18th century map of Australia, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, originally from Valentyn’s Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, one of the earliest contemporary maps to report information drawn from the Dutch V.O.C. during the period. This excellent map details the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, the Far East, and much of Australia, based on careful compilation of the best available sources by the brilliant and entertaining Dutch chronicler, François Valentijn. The map features a fine depiction of the outlines of the western two-thirds of Australia, based on the discoveries of explorers working for the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). These include Willem Jansz’s discoveries in the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606; the encounters of Dirk Hartog in 1616, the crew of the Leeuwin in 1622, Gerrit Frederiksz de Witt in 1627, and Pieter Nuyts in 1627, in Western Australia; and Jan Cartensz and Willem van Colster’s discoveries in Northern Australia in 1623. The Indonesian Archipelago is well-formed based on VOC knowledge, except that the shape of New Guinea still remains ambiguous. The Philippines are shown in the configuration utilized prior to the publication of Padre Pedro Murillo Velarde’s map in 1744. Continental Southeast Asia assumes a refined form, and includes the intelligence gathered by the French embassy to Siam, made shortly before Western contact with the kingdom was cut-off in 1688. Further north in Asia, the coasts of China are relatively well formed, based on Jesuit surveys, most notably those conducted by Martino Martini in the 1640s and 1650s. Korea is correctly shown as a peninsula, albeit of a somewhat nebulous form. Notably, Valentijn does not incorporate and was likely unaware of the groundbreaking surveys of China and Korea contained in the Chinese Kangxi Atlas (1718-9), which was yet to reach Europe. The southern main islands of Japan are relatively well formed, based on the charting of VOC mariners operating out of Nagasaki. The coasts of India, Arabia and Africa are conveyed in a progressive manner, based on extensive navigational experience and innumerable surveys conducted by the Portuguese and the Dutch. Notably, ‘I. St. Maria’ (St. Mary’s Island) on Madagascar was then the pirate capital of the World and a place to be avoided by ‘legitimate’ mariners. Notably, the map features highly advanced detail with respect to the interior of southern India, based on the work of the French Jesuit Jean-Venant Bouchet (1655-1732), who was the first European to extensively map the Deccan. In 1719, he sent a manuscript map to Paris, which was first published in 1722. Valentijn’s inclusion of this information is therefore quite early.
Mid-16th century German map of the Indian Ocean and Asia by Sebastian Münster. This map was published in the 1550 German edition of Münster’s monumental work Cosmographia. Sumatra is designated as Taprobana, Java Major is shown below an island called Java Minor. The Pacific Ocean shows an archipelago of 7448 islands, a forerunner to the better understanding of Southeast Asia. Although largely based on Ptolemy’s work, the map incorporates some of the more recent Portuguese discoveries. The outlines of the Indian subcontinent, between the Indus and the Ganges rivers are in a recognizable form, with “Zaylon” (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) correctly shown as an island. The treatment of “Cathay” (China) is consistent with the writings of Marco Polo and other Venetian travellers.
Size image: 39 cm x 27 cm