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PNG. William Dampier discoveries, Papua New Guinea. Bowen c1746.

PNG. William Dampier discoveries, Papua New Guinea. Bowen c1746.

by Bowen, Emanuel

A Map of the Discoveries made by Captn. William Dampier in the Roebuck in 1699. Copperplate-engraved map with text by Emanuel Bowen, published in London c1746. Emanuel Bowen (1694-1767) engraved this map, and added his text, for John Harris's Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels published in London c1746.

Emanuel Bowen flourished as a mapmaker from 1714 to 1767. He was engraver to George II of England and also to Louis XV of France. In addition to his own projects he engraved for magazines, books and other publications. Bowen incorporated blocks of text in many of the maps he engraved, which of course makes them more interesting. His maps are some of the most accurate as well as most attractive maps of the eighteenth century.  (At left on the upper border is "Longitude East from the Lizard".. Prior to the implementation in 1851 of Greenwich as the Prime Meridian, the Lizard peninsula in southern Cornwall as the southernmost point of mainland England was the last point of English land that could be seen, so its position was used for navigational reference points by English explorers.)

In 1697 Dampier published his journals as A New Voyage Round the World describing his travels as first a buccaneer and then a privateer. Instantly popular, it was updated amd reissued a number of times. The British Admiralty were influenced by his narrative and observations in the South Seas. They awarded him the rank of captain on HMS Roebuck and the command of a further expedition to the region in 1699. He anchored in Shark Bay in July of that year but was unable to find fresh water or provisions. With his crew suffering from scurvy Dampier left Australia for Timor, then sailed to New Guinea. His finding and naming New Britain was the highlight of his achievement on the voyage.

Dampier was not good at managing either his crew or ship. With low crew morale and his ship in poor condition, Dampier headed for Batavia for repairs and provisions and then headed homewards. Having passed the Cape of Good Hope his ship sprang a leak. It managed to reach Ascension Island, where it was beached and abandoned. His crew was stranded on the desolate island until they were picked up by an East India convoy, and thence returned to England.

With fine later colour highlighting the detail, this lovely map on hand-made paper, measures 25 x 40.5cm (9 7/8 x 16 inches). To platemark measures 20.5 x 33cm (8 x12 7/8 inches).

Stock Number: amNGDamp27PPrice: $990.00