Carte Générale de la Terre Napoléon. BAUDIN, Louis de FREYCINET.

Carte Générale de la Terre Napoléon.
Carte Générale de la Terre Napoléon.

Paris: Gravé par Tardieu, 1808.

Engraved chart; 580 x 850 mm.

French designs for South Australia.

Impressive early chart of the South Australian coastline revealing French colonial ambitions for Australia, a result of the survey undertaken during the Baudin expedition in Australian waters during 1802. As the title "Terre Napoleon" strongly implies, the map is tangible proof of French colonial ambitions for Australia. At the time of the Baudin voyage a Napoleonic order existed to conquer the continent, a plan ultimately frustrated by defeat in Europe. The place names engraved on this chart maps are almost entirely in French; interestingly, when the second edition of Baudin's voyage was published in 1824 most of these names were discretely changed into English.

Impressive early chart of the South Australian coastline revealing French colonial ambitions for Australia, a result of the survey undertaken during the Baudin expedition in Australian waters during 1802. As the title "Terre Napoleon" strongly implies, the map is tangible proof of French colonial ambitions for Australia. At the time of the Baudin voyage a Napoleonic order existed to conquer the continent, a plan ultimately frustrated by defeat in Europe. The place names engraved on this chart maps are almost entirely in French; interestingly, when the second edition of Baudin's voyage was published in 1824 most of these names were discretely changed into English.
Although the map bears the engraved date of 1808 it was included in the atlas volume of the official voyage account published in 1812. A milestone in mapping the continent, this was the first Australian atlas ever published. Although Matthew Flinders charted this coastline at the same time as Baudin, and the two expeditions famously met in Encounter Bay, Flinders' publication was delayed by several years due to his imprisonment at the hands of the French on Mauritius. The matter of precedence remained a bone of contention between the English and the French for some time as here there is no acknowledgement of Flinders' prior discoveries.
This map is beautifully enhanced by vignettes of Australian flora and fauna based on drawings by Charles Alexandre Lesueur (featuring kangaroos and sea lions reclining composed beneath an idealised neoclassical figure). Most examples are removed from the atlas and are subsequently folded, however this example is a single unfolded sheet and remains in excellent condition.

Price (AUD): $8,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #3912509

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