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  • From 1800-1804 the French Nicolas Baudin  embarked on a voyage of scientific discovery in the Southern Oceans. He met Matthew Flinders' voyage and they met "Encounter Bay" on April 8th, 1802. www.historyrevisited.com.au
  • This map was the first to show details of the hitherto recorded as "Unknown Coastline". Baudin named the gulfs after the French Emperor and Empress. Also showing Kangaroo Island.
  • In this whimsical title cartouche we see  a classical version of Napoleon floating over a coast populated by Kangaroos , seals & botany. www.historyrevisited.com.au
  • After leaving Port Jackson the British caughtup with the French in Port Philip Bay, Baudin promised to go directly to back to France. This explains the obvious lack of detail in this bay.
  • A vignette illustrates the Frecnh voyage vessels, La Geographe and La Naturaliste,  visiting a bay observed by a lyre-bird, emu and cockatoo. www.historyrevisited.com.au

Map Giclee South East Coast Australia French Freycinet Baudin


Product Description

Map, giclee, South-East Coast of Australia, French Cartographer Louis de Freycinet, Nicolas Baudin, 1811-12 

Carte Generale de la Terre Napoleon (a la Nouvelle Hollande)/redigee d'apres les travaux executes a bord de la  corvette le Geographe et de la Goellette le Casuarina par M.L. Freycinet an 1808

Size of image = 75cm x 50cm ( 29 1/2 x 19 3/4 inch)

Printed on Archival Quality conservation paper Limited Edition to 250 Giclee prints.

Numbered Archival quality print with accompanied certificate explaining historical significance.

Nicolas Baudin's Voyage of Discovery 1800-1804: Here we see the cartography of the South East coastline of present day Victoria and the gulfs of South Australia together with Kangaroo Island for the first time. Nicolas Baudin and his cartographer, Louis de Freycinet,  decreed the theme of naming features would be notable French scientists and mathematicians of that had emerged during the Age of Enlightenment (1650-1820). This map is accompanied by two sheets of French names that appear on the South Australian portion together with their significance as to why they were chosen. Port Philip is named in English but lacks any detail. The reason was that the French voyage left Port Jackson faithfully promising to head for home...but Governor King suspected they would weaken in their resolve...and he was right. He had sent an English ship to follow them and move them just in case. The blank circle is proof of Governor King's hunch!

A whimsical pictorial cartouche to the right shows a noble physical depiction of Emperor Bonaparte floating over of "Terre Napoleon" further decorated with a coastline populated with seals & exotic plants. To the left we see a similar coastal view with portraits of the main vessels, La Naturaliste and La Geographe, being watched by a lyrebird, cockatoo and short legged emu standing beside the unique grass-tree. The cartography is significant yet it is the illustrations that  greatly enhanced the decorative appeal of this map. The original map chosen to be scanned for this limited edition giclee is unusual as it was delicately hand coloured enhancing the coastal details. It was just one of the potential 100 that could been printed off a soft copper plate of the period. Of those how many have survived?

Scientific Exploration in a Time of War: The significance of this south-east map of "New Holland" was it it unveiled teo magnoficent gulfs and Kangaroo Island for the first time as a printed record. Until the Baudin French Atlas, it had been known mysteriously as the "Unknown Coast". The Dutch had mapped sections of the north, west and south coast around to the current day Ceduna, with the south coast of what we call Tasmania. This accumulative Dutch cartography is recorded in the map "Hollande Nova" published after Abel Tasman's returned and can be seen in 1644 "Southern Continent". Captain James Cook was sent to identify the East coast in 1769 possibly on the strength of this very map discovered, and reissued, by map-maker Thomas Emmanuel. However, the water of the southern oceans were too unpredictable for sailors to venture further, hence it was labeled the "Unknown Coast", and simply depicted as a dotted line. Just 37 years after Cook's East Coast discovery the Nicolas Baudin voyage reveals to the world two gulfs and the island L'Ilse Decree, later Kangaroo Island. History tells us that Matthew Flinders mapped this coast prior to the French but the latter published first .However , this was a highly charged political voyage emerging from the turmoil of Louis XVI's demise ("Reign of Terror"). The magnificent gulfs are dedicated to the new French Emperor and Empress, respectively "Golfes Boneparte et Josephine",  while Fleurieu Peninsula is named after the Minister of the Navy, Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu. These features are further reinforced with the smaller chart of the area. Many of these strategically named features failed to remain after Flinders published "Terra Australis" in 1814. However Fleurieu Peninsula prevailed and was officially renamed in 1912 to clarify 19th century conclusion in this matter.

Encounter of Two Captains-Nicolas Baudin & Matthew Flinders, 1802

 French Captain, Nicolas Baudin, was dedicated to the voyage of the Southern Oceans as a testimony to the French Age of Enlightenment. The French had spent, what Freycinet lamented, an over-long stay on the the island we know as Tasmania. Indeed he admitted to Flinders that if they had spent less time "collecting shells and butterflies" on the island, the French would have discovered the "unknown coast" well before the English. Matthew Flinders and George Bass had discovered Van Diemens Land (later Tasmania) was an island with George Bass in 1797 but had yet to publish their findings. George Bass was to disappear in his search for the North-West passage, but Flinders resolved to return with the grand objective to be the first to circumnavigate "New Holland". In the meantime Nicolas Baudin had left Europe leaving Flinders the task of racing across the Atlantic Ocean in pursuit. Ultimately Flinders was given the credit for having mapping most of the coastline before the French although he honored those French names that pre-dated his own. When Baudin and Flinders met in the aptly named "Encounter Bay", they met as fellow mariners in spite of the military instability between the Britain and France. In 1811-12 the cartographer on the voyage, Louis de Freycinet, published the atlas to accompany the account of the voyage, Voyage de decouvertes aux terres : Atlas historique. A list of 49 South Australian French names & their owners accompany this giclee.  The cause of the Flinders' delay in publishing his cartography was he had "given his parole" to the Governor of French Mauritius to secure the release of his ships laden with discoveries.As a consequence,  Flinders and his treasured maps did not return to Britain until 1810. They remained unpublished until July 1814 as the English captain struggled with ill-health and financial difficulties.He was to die the day following the influential publication of "Terra Australis". The Captains were both ill-fated on their respective European return as neither received the credit due to each captain. Baudin had died of from the ravages of tuberculosis with few friends on French Mauritius.He was consequently written out of history by his enemies only to be rediscovered by Frank Horner in his publication "French Reconnaissance" in the 1980s.





Other Details

G Map:
South East Coastline:
Great Australian Bight
South Australia:
Nicolas Baudin:
Louis de Freycinet

Product Reviews

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  1. Stunning News! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 14th Nov 2011

    We assume so much but here we have the proof of HISTORY before our very eyes!

  2. The French map artistry. 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 6th Nov 2011

    Surepbly illuminating map here, thanks!

  3. French reached the Unknown Coast first? 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Nov 2011

    Cheers pal. I do apprceate the knowledge this map captures..




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