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CARTE REDUITE DES TERRES AUSTRALES . . . 1753. Jaques-Nicholas Bellin (1703-1772).

One of the earliest maps of Australia that is devoted entirely to Australia. It shows the discoveries by the Dutch on the northern, western and southern  coasts and projects an eastern coast from Tasman's Van Dieman's Land, north to Terre du St. Espirit, the group of islands seen and described by the Spanish explorer Pedro Fernandes de Quiros in 1605 and known today as Vanuatu. The west coast of Tasmania is projected north to join an imagined eastern extention of the Great Australian Bight, the Terre de Nuits of the Dutch. Torre's Strait is not distinguished due to the Spanish suppression of Luis Vaz de Torres' account of the discovery. Bellin showns a tentative connection between Terre du St. Espirit and and the coast of New Guinea. Torres sailed with de Quiros in 1605. Bellin was a meticulous cartographer with a healthy skepticism about unproven coastlines. He used the device of a dotted line and a fainter hatching to indicate unproven or hypothetical coasts. The intenser the engraving, the more certain Bellin was of the veracity of the coast. The confirmation of Torres Strait, rediscovered theoretically by Alexander Dalrymple in 1762, was confirmed by James Cook on his first voyage. (Cook was following Dalrymple's sailing instructions). In Cook's second voyage, he conclusively determined that a great southern continent did not exist, a theory promulgated since the early sixteenth century. Bellin's chart notes that perhaps the New Zealand of Abel Tasman formed part of this great southern continent, albeit he used his customary device of faint hatching and dots to express his skepticism.

Published in Abbe Prevost's massive collection of voyages Histoire generale des voyages. 

This famous image is an essential item for collectors of Australian charts.


204 x 279mm. Ruled line.

Uncoloured as issued.

Centre fold line as issued.

Good condition.


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