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Australia, pre-Cook. Carte Reduite des Terres Australes (Nouvelle Hollande). Bellin c1753

Australia, pre-Cook. Carte Reduite des Terres Australes (Nouvelle Hollande). Bellin c1753

by Bellin, Jacques Nicolas

A rather special antique map of Australia, with conjectured east coast c1753 by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin - Carte Reduite des Terres Australes pour servir a l’histoire des voyages. Par le Sr Bellin Ing. De la Marine. De la Societe Royale de Londres &ca 1753.

Bellin’s maps were finely engraved and accurate where known, but he is today better known for his creativity, as a founder of the French school of theoretical cartography. On this important and well-recognised map of Nouvelle Hollande (New Holland, as the Dutch had named Australia when they discovered the western part), published nearly 20 years prior to James Cook’s discovery of the east coast in 1770, Bellin used a dotted line for his theories of the east coast of Australia, and joined Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) to Espiritu Santu (New Hebrides) and Papua New Guinea and New Britain. (In French) along this dotted line Bellin wrote "I suppose that the land of Diemen could join with the land of the Holy Ghost but (this is) without proof".

Australia was known as Terres Australis (Southern Lands), renamed New Holland by the Dutch, and then Australia (the name coined by Matthew Flinders). Original copperplate-engraved map of a Reduced Chart of the Southern Lands by Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) for Prevost’s L’Histoire Generale des Voyages (General History of Voyages) published in Paris in 1753.

Bellin was appointed hydrographer to the French Navy when 18 years old, he became director of the Department of Charts, Plans & Journals of the Ministry of the Navy, head of the French Hydrographic Department, Official Hydrographer to King Louis XIV, Royal Censor of the Naval Academy, and as a marine hydrographic engineer was appointed a member of the Royal Society of London. His most important published maps were for his Petit Atlas Maritime (Small Maritime Atlas) c1764, and maps for l’Abbe Prevost’s Historie Generale des Voyages (General History of Voyages) c1746-1757.

This is without doubt the most collectable early map of Australia. It is one only a few eighteenth century maps to show Australia without Asia or the rest of the world, and the incorrect east coast provides quite a talking point!

This French map is in fine condition with large borders, and vertical folds to accommodate the smaller size of the publication. Page size Map size 26 x 38.5cm (10 1/4 x 15 1/8 inches). To the map intaglio impression just outside the border measures 22 x 29.5 cm (8 5/8 x 11 5/8 inches), 


Stock Number: amAuBell.13PPrice: $2,200.00