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Continent Meridional Austral ou Antarctique. Mallet South Pole map c1683.

Continent Meridional Austral ou Antarctique. Mallet South Pole map c1683.

by Mallet, Allain Manesson

Antarctica: Southern Continent. Continent Meridional Austral, ou Antarctique c1683. Centred on the South Pole, this is a rare little map. Original copperplate-engraved map (Figure 107) by Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706), published circa 1683 in Paris “by Royal privilege”, for the first ‘modern’ book of geography Description de l’Univers (Description of the Universe). This wonderful map shows the lack of knowledge of Torres Straits in the 17th century - as well as the east and south-eastern shores of Australia.

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) studied mathematics and geometry at the College of Burgundy, under the military engineer, his uncle, Philippe Mallet (1606-1679). He then joined the army and rose to the rank of sargento-mor (equivalent to commander) of artillery and inspector of fortifications under Marshal Schomberg, for Alfonso VI in Portugal. After Louis XIV forced the Spanish to end the war and sign the Treaty of Independence of Portugal in 1668, Mallet returned to France. He was appointed mathematics teacher of the pages of the King in Little Stable, Versaille (reserved for the sons of the noble families whose antiquity dated back to 1550 or earlier). During this time Mallet wrote several well-illustrated publications.

In 1671 Mallet's first publication was on military science and the art of siege warfare. It was so successful that it was translated for publication in German. In 1683 Mallet published what is considered to be the first 'modern' book of geography, Description de l'Universe (Description of the Universe). In 1684 Mallet updated his previous work and published Travaux de Mars, ou l'art de War (Work of Mars, or the Art of War), featuring his proposals for fortifications.

This map is age-discoloured, but otherwise in good condition. To border measures 150 x 110mm (6.7/8 x 4.1/4 inches). Page size is 208 x 135mm (7 x 5.3/8 inches).

Stock Number: amAMM.3PPrice: $550.00

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