Carte très Curieuse de la Mer du Sud contenant des remarques nouvelles et très utiles non seulement sur les Ports et Iles de cette mer… les Noms et la Route des Voyageurs…. Henri Abraham CHATELAIN.

Carte très Curieuse de la Mer du Sud…
Carte très Curieuse de la Mer du Sud contenant des remarques nouvelles et très utiles non seulement sur les Ports et Iles de cette mer… les Noms et la Route des Voyageurs…

Paris: l'Honore & Chatelain, 1719.

Engraved map, with fine hand colouring, printed in four sheets joined, 860 x 1440 mm.; mounted and framed.

One of the most richly decorated world maps ever produced

A splendid example of Henri Châtelain's rare and magnificent wall chart of the Pacific and its surrounds. Described by Schwartz as "one of the most elaborately engraved maps", and Goss as "one of the most decorative and impressive maps of the Americas [and] …a veritable pictorial encyclopedia of the western hemisphere", this is undoubtedly one of the most richly decorated world maps ever produced. Australia is charted according to the discoveries of Tasman from seventy-five years earlier (and Hartog before him): "Nouvelle Hollande découverte l'an 1644", and the new place name "Golfo de Carpentarie" is recorded. The north of the continent is shown strangely flattened and the south coast of Tasmania, "Terre d'Antoine Diemens", is placed at a great distance from the rest of the continent. A strangely shaped New Guinea neighbours the Solomon Islands which reference the discoveries of Mendana and Quiros; the mysterious "Terre De Quir" -- the Quiros discoveries still having currency after a century has passed -- here seems to credit Pedro Fernendez de Quir with the discovery of eastern Australia.

A splendid example of Henri Châtelain's rare and magnificent wall chart of the Pacific and its surrounds. Described by Schwartz as "one of the most elaborately engraved maps", and Goss as "one of the most decorative and impressive maps of the Americas [and] …a veritable pictorial encyclopedia of the western hemisphere", this is undoubtedly one of the most richly decorated world maps ever produced. Australia is charted according to the discoveries of Tasman from seventy-five years earlier (and Hartog before him): "Nouvelle Hollande découverte l'an 1644", and the new place name "Golfo de Carpentarie" is recorded. The north of the continent is shown strangely flattened and the south coast of Tasmania, "Terre d'Antoine Diemens", is placed at a great distance from the rest of the continent. A strangely shaped New Guinea neighbours the Solomon Islands which reference the discoveries of Mendana and Quiros; the mysterious "Terre De Quir" -- the Quiros discoveries still having currency after a century has passed -- here seems to credit Pedro Fernendez de Quir with the discovery of eastern Australia.

Châtelain's map is centred on the Americas, extending west to include all of the Pacific as far as China and Australia, and east to include much of Europe and the western half of Africa. Its aim was to educate the reader in matters of geography, cosmography, topography, heraldry and ethnography, and this information-rich map is a visual celebration of the age of discovery. In the centre top of the chart are portrait medallions of the major explorers including Magellan, Columbus, Vespucci, Drake, Dampier, Jacques L'Hermite, and Schouten. There are brief descriptions of their achievements, and the tracks of their great voyages of discovery are marked. There are five voyages marked across the Pacific including that of Magellan in 1520, Le Maire and Schouten in 1616 and L'Hermite in 1625.

Clustering around the margins of the chart are sumptuously engraved and richly coloured vignettes depicting indigenous peoples and exotic flora and fauna of the New World as well as famous historic events. Some of the images, such as the scene of beavers building dams and the view of the codfish factory, are derived from Herman Moll. There are several short paragraphs of text on the map, giving information about the features, government and people of different countries, the tides and winds. Significantly this is one of the first maps to begin to dispel the myth of California as an island. Although it is tentatively drawn as such, a notation states that "moderns" believe it to be part of the mainland.

The Carte très Curieuse was originally issued in the sixth volume of Châtelain's encyclopedic Atlas Historique ou Nouvelle Introduction à l'histoire à la Chronologie et à la Géographe Ancienne et Moderne, which was published in seven folio volumes between 1705 and 1720. This rare and important map, the outstanding highlight of the atlas, was also separately issued. Very few maps of this scale have survived, fewer still in such excellent condition.

Goss, The Mapmaker's Art, plate 7.5; ibid., The Mapping of North America, 52; Leighly, California as an Island, pl. xx; McLaughlin, The Mapping of California as an Island, 190; Nordenskiold Collection, 753; Portinaro & Knirsch, The Cartography of North America 1500-1800, plate CVIII; Schwartz & Ehrenberg The Mapping of America pp.146-147 & plate 85; Suarez, Early Mapping of the Pacific, fig.97; Tooley "California as an Island", 80, plate 80, in Map Collectors' Circle 8; ibid., The Mapping of America, p.130; ibid., The Mapping of Australia, 66; Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America, 511.

Price (AUD): $28,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504770

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