Terres Australes par P. Du Val Geographe Ordre. du Roy. Pierre DU VAL.
Terres Australes par P. Du Val Geographe Ordre. du Roy.

Terres Australes…
Terres Australes par P. Du Val Geographe Ordre. du Roy.

A Paris: chez l'Autheur, en l'Isle du Palais, sur le Quay de l'Orloge, proche le coin de la rue de Harlay, 1677.

Engraved map, 422 x 585 mm, with outlines in original colour.

Known and Unknown worlds: Marco Polo, Gonneville, and the Dutch in New Holland

A fine example of this rare early map of discoveries in New Holland and the Indian Ocean, in the first of several states issued. This is only the second printed map to have referenced the supposed discoveries of the mysterious French explorer Gonneville who was supposed to have chanced on the south land in 1504 when, en route to the Spice Islands, his ship was blown far off course while rounding the Cape of Good Hope and the French found themselves in a fertile, inhabited land.

A fine example of this rare early map of discoveries in New Holland and the Indian Ocean, in the first of several states issued. This is only the second printed map to have referenced the supposed discoveries of the mysterious French explorer Gonneville who was supposed to have chanced on the south land in 1504 when, en route to the Spice Islands, his ship was blown far off course while rounding the Cape of Good Hope and the French found themselves in a fertile, inhabited land.

At the centre of the southern continent Du Val notes that "some [authorities] place here the Kingdoms of Psitac, Beach, Lucac, and Maletur", the names derived from Marco Polo that subsequent mapmakers tended to place on the southern continent. To the west and approximately below the Cape of Good Hope is the "Terre de Perroquets", a rough translation of early cartographers' "Regio Psittacorum" which name leads to the corruption "Psitac". It is here that Du Val notes that "in the year 1504 approached one named Gonneville who brought back Essonier, son of King Arosca."

To the east, the coastline of the southern continent meanders north, heading towards the western and southern coasts of New Holland where, in the north, is Terre d'Arnems; to the west is Terre de Wit, just south of which is Terre d'Endracht, while towards the south-western corner are Terre d'Edels and Terre de Lewin, and off the west coast are the Houtman Abrolhos and to the north the Trial rocks. Interestingly the continent is labelled "Petite Jave", in another reference to Marco Polo who had identified Java Minor and Major; Java Minor was intended to signify Sumatra (Sumbawa) but an error in Polo's travels recorded it as 1300 miles south of Java Major, causing endless confusion for geographers with some, like Du Val, using the name Java Minor (Petite Jave) for New Holland.

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The various Dutch names derive as follows: Terre d'Arnems refers to the Dutch East India ship Arnhem, which sighted the area in 1623; Terre de Wit commemorates Gerrit Frederikszoon de Witt, captain of the Vianen, who sailed in 1628; Terre d'Endracht refers to the Endracht, the second recorded European ship to contact Australia in 1616.

As to Gonneville, he returned to Normandy with Essonier, the prince of the land he had visited, who settled in Normandy and had a family. The Abbé Paulmier, who claimed to be Essonier's great grandson, publicised his story with a book, very rare today, that he published in 1664 lobbying to convert the citizens of the Southern Continent to Christianity. However there had been no prior mention of Gonneville's discoveries; it has been speculated that if the voyage did actually take place it may in fact have landed somewhere in Brazil. Nevertheless, Gonneville's south Indian Ocean discoveries were first incorporated into a map in 1661, Du Val's being the next to do so, according to Gonneville scholar Margaret Sankey. Until James Cook's second expedition in the late-eighteenth century, French efforts at South Seas discovery would continue to focus on the elusive Gonneville's Land.

Pierre Du Val (1619-83) was born in Abbeville, France, the nephew of the well-known geographer and cartographer Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667). After moving to Paris with the encouragement of Louis XIV, he became géographe ordinaire du Roi in 1650. After his death in 1683, his business was carried on by his widow and daughters. His map shows small ships traversing the trade routes in both directions between Europe and the lucrative East Indies, India and Southeast Asia. These areas occupy the top third of the map while the remainder shows the vast southern Indian Ocean and the matching vastness of a huge Southern Continent stretching nearly 140°.

This is an example of the first state of the map; later states appeared in 1679 and 1684. The National Library of Australia holds an example in a pair with a second sheet to the east, entitled Amerique Merdionale. It is also found as one of 4 sheets put together to form the world map Carte Universelle Du Monde Vulgairement Dite La Mappemonde.

Jean Abbe Paulmier, Mémoires pour l'establissement d'une mission chrestienne dans le troisième monde, Autrement appelé, La Terre Australe, Meridionale, Antartique [sic], & Inconnuë. 1664; Margaret Sankey, "The Abbé Paulmier's Mémoires and Early French Voyages in Search of Terra Australis," in Discovery and Empire: The French in the South Seas, ed. John West-Sooby (Adelaide: University of Adelaide, 2013), 41-68; "Mapping Terra Australis in the French Seventeenth Century: The Memoires of the Abbe Jean Paulmier", in European Perceptions of Terra Australis, eds. Ann Scott, Alfred Hiatt, Claire McIlroy, and Christopher Wortham, 111-132 (Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2011); W.A.R. Richardson, "Terra Australis, Jave la Grande and Australia," in ibid, 83-109; W.A.R. Richardson, Was Australia Charted Before 1606?: The Java la Grande Inscriptions (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2006), 32.

Price (AUD): $16,000.00  other currencies Ref: #4505162

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