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Description: This beautiful, very significant original antique map of SE Asia, the East Indies PNG and significantly a small portion of the west coast of Australia's Cape York Peninsular was published in the 1639 French edition of Mercator's Atlas published by Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansson.
Condition Report: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Later Colors used: - Yellow, pink, green General color appearance: - Authentic Paper size: - 22 1/2in x 19in (570mm x 485mm) Plate size: - 20in x 15 1/2in (510mm x 395mm) Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - Uniform age toning, bottom centerfold restored Plate area: - Uniform age toning, centerfold re-joined Verso: - Uniform age toning
Background: This landmark map is the first published record of the discoveries made by the Dutch ship Dufken on route to Cape York in Australia. New Guinea ("Landt vande Papuos") is marked the (Is)land next to it is called ÔNieu ZeelandtÕ and the island Duyfkens is named after the ship Duyfken. With the first publication of this map 27 years had passed since the voyage of the Dufken and its discoveries of PNG and NW Australia had been completed. The Dutch East India Company had suppressed the discoveries until it was sure how profitable or not Australia would be. Jansson & Hondius were the first to published this map in 1630 and it is believed the information was leaked from the Blaeu firm - the official cartographers to the Dutch East India Company. Surprisingly Blaeu did not publish a similar map for another two years. It must have been incredibly galling for Blaeu to have known of the discoveries for nearly thirty years and then to have been beaten to publication by his fiercest rival Jansson & Hondius. Given this information this is an incredibly significant map of this imporatant region being the first map published with concrete first hand knowledge of the area which prior had been mapped based mainly on speculation or second hand knowledge.
The text running for two pages on the back of the map generally describes the region or country name, history (as it was), temperature, seasons, soil and agricultural productivity. Also described is the topography, wildlife, local inhabitants their culture and religion, as well as a description of major European and local towns and cities. This text makes extremely enjoyable reading and a very good insight not only into the area described but the general European attitudes towards alien countries and cultures. (Ref: Suraz; Koeman; M&B; Tooley)