India Orientalis c.1638
Decorative map of South East Asia, India and western Oceana by Matthaus Merian, based upon William Blaeu’s India Orientalis map of the same period. Matthäus Merian was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family.
size image: 46 cm x 35 cm
H 35 cm x W 46 cm
The strangely shaped islands and early place names provide a fascinating early view of the region on this 450 years old map. This map of South East Asia by Girolamo Ruscelli’s edition of Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’ was published in Venice in 1561. The crudely executed map shows some evidence of the Portugese discoveries in the early 16th century such as the location of Malacca. East of Malacca is Java Minor, south of Sumatra is Java Major. Little of the Indonesian archipelago is accurately depicted on this early map of the region. The map represents a transition from the old Ptolemaic model of the far east, based largely on the accounts of Marco Polo, and the Ortelian model based on access to the Portugese portolan charts of the area.
size image: 25 cm x 19 cm
Double Hemisphere Map of the World, originally published in 1744 by Emanuel Bowen (1694–1767), an English map engraver who worked for George II of England and Louis XV of France as a geographer. Allegorical decorations showing 4 women in each corner of the map representing the continents. The east coast of Australia is unknown and New Zealand is largely incomplete. Northwest coast of North America is still incomplete above the Straits of Anian.
size: 54 cm x 32 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.