1639 Hondius Antique Map of Australia, East Indies, India to China - Duyfken

Cartographer : Henricus Hondius

  • Title : India quae Orientalis dicitur et Insulae Adiacentes
  • Date : 1639
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref:  43140
  • Size: 22 1/2in x 19 1/4in (570mm x 485mm)

This fine beautifully hand coloured original antique and very important map of the East Indies, India, SE Asia, China, Japan Philippines and Australia - the first to map the west coast of Cape York Peninsular northern Queensland as well as parts of the SW coast of Western Australia, with place names, was published in the 1639 French edition of Mercators Atlas by Jan Jansson and Henricus Hondius.

An important Dutch map of South East Asia, noteworthy for including the discoveries made in New Guinea and northern Queensland, Australia by the Dutch vessel Duyfken in 1605-06. Under the command of Willem Janzoon, the Duyfken explored the eastern shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria, just below the Cape York Peninsula, a venture which was famously the first recorded European contact with Australia.

Condition Report
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Red, yellow, green
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 22 1/2in x 19 1/4in (570mm x 485mm)
Plate size: - 19 1/4in x 15 1/2in (485mm x 395mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - Light offsetting, light age toning
Verso: - Light age toning 

This map of the East Indies extending from India to Japan and south to Australia, shows some of the Dutch discoveries along the West Australian coastline like the Swan River, Nassau River, Coen River and the Batavia River borrows heavily from the exact map by Joan Blaeu. On the eastern part lower right of the map is a small section of Cape York Peninsular. This map is one of the first printed maps to show any part of the Australian coastline. It continued to be an issued unchanged from 1635 up until the 1660's, long after some of the information it contained had been superseded. This was despite the fact that Joan Blaeu as cartographer to the Dutch East India Company from 1638 to 1673 had access to the latest information concerning the extension of the Dutch maritime power in the East Indies, publishing the results of such discoveries (especially of Australia) on large World maps, such as that of 1648. In other words, atlas map's of the East Indies and part of Australia ignores the results of Abel Tasman's discoveries made during the voyage of 1642-44. In 1642, Tasman was appointed commander of an expedition to the South Seas, during which he discovered the Island later named after him as well as part of the coast of New Zealand. His voyage 1644 coasted along the shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria and along the northern coast of Australia as far as the Tropic of Capricorn.

Tasman's discoveries were published very soon afterwards on Blaeu's large World Maps, rendering it all the more curious that the atlas map was never revised. In affect, this map remained an historical map of the archipelago, showing discoveries made. albeit in a rather haphazard and fortuitous manner by the Dutch, between 1606 and 1623.. The design of the map emphasises the importance of the commercial interests in the East Indies, centred as it is on the heart of what was to become The Netherlands East Indies and later Indonesia. (Ref: Koeman; M&B)