C1547
 (1856)

First map of Australia from Nicholas Vallard’s atlas, 1547, in the Library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. at Middle Hill, 1856.

Mapmaker:

Nicholas Vallard

This beautiful map of Jave la Grande, published in 1856, is based on a chart by Nicholas Vallard from his 1547 manuscript atlas produced in Dieppe, France between 1540 and 1570. This map was made to promote the dispersal of … Read Full Description

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S/N: VALL-ASI-1856–184122
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Details

Full Title:

First map of Australia from Nicholas Vallard’s atlas, 1547, in the Library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. at Middle Hill, 1856.

Date:

C1547
 (1856)

Mapmaker:

Nicholas Vallard

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

560mm 
x 380mm
AUTHENTICITY
First map of Australia from Nicholas Vallard’s atlas, 1547, in the Library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. at Middle Hill, 1856. - Antique Map from 1547

Genuine antique
dated:

1856

Description:

This beautiful map of Jave la Grande, published in 1856, is based on a chart by Nicholas Vallard from his 1547 manuscript atlas produced in Dieppe, France between 1540 and 1570.

This map was made to promote the dispersal of Sir Thomas Phillipp’s enormous collection which contained the Vallard atlas. The collection took many years to disperse and the atlas was ultimately acquired in the 1920s by the legendary collector Henry E. Huntington, now in the library named after him. The landmass is decorated with an elaborate scene of an Asiatic village surrounded by trees bearing tropical fruit and vegetation. In the background, several warring tribes and a rocky, mountainous landscape can be seen, while on the side panels are four mythological scenes. The sea is richly decorated with several imaginary sea monsters, a compass rose and a galleon in full sail. The map is orientated with north to the bottom and when rotated 180 degrees, the charting closely resembles the east coast of Australia from Cape York Peninsula, south to Wilson’s Promontory and west to the South Australian gulfs and Kangaroo Island. When published it was labelled the First Map of Australia &, an assertion that at the time, caused great controversy since it challenged James Cook’s previous recognition as being the first European to discover the east coast of Australia. The controversy over the Dieppe maps has polarised cartographic scholars and historians due to speculation that these maps depict parts of the Australian continent decades prior to the first recorded discovery by the Dutch in 1606. The inclusion of various Portuguese place names on the large landmass named Jave la Grande have led to theories that the Portuguese were the first to discover Australia. The Portuguese presence in Timor and various points of archaeological and anecdotal evidence have been used to support this underlying case. The assertion that the Jave la Grande landmass depicted in this and several other Dieppe maps is Australia, was first proposed by Alexander Dalrymple of the Royal Society in 1786, and was later advanced by several others during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including R.H. Major (1859), George Collingridge (1895), Kenneth McIntyre (1977), Roger Herve (1983), Helen Wallis (1980s) and Lawrence Fitzgerald (1984). More recent scholarship by Fitzgerald and Peter Trickett has theorised that this map could have been based on multiple Portuguese navigational charts which were then misaligned by the mapmakers at Dieppe. If the theory is correct, a large bay named ‘Baie Neue’ could well refer to Cook’s Botany Bay.

References:

Reinhartz pp.70-71, 74,136, ill.pp.70-71,137

Schilder pp.21-22, Suarez (A) ill. fig.3, p.13.

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