Dutch map of Australia offered in Britain

Sotheby’s will sell a 17th century Dutch map of Australia and Southeast Asia in its May 9 sale in London.

It was drawn up by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), an important Dutch cartographer, and measures just over 1.5m across.

Australia map Dutch

The map includes a message from creator Joan Blaeu 

It includes a note from Blaeu addressing the issue of the several islands known to exist but missing from his map: “But of all these and of the above-mentioned islands we cannot speak more fully because of the want of space; nor has there yet been published anything, or little concerning these last named; wherefor the reader and spectator must rest content with this map, until I. [Joan] Blaeu, shall publish these and the aforesaid a large book, full of maps and descriptions, which is at present being prepared."

That book was never published, making this Blaeu’s most extensive mapping of the Pacific region.

The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Australia. They named it Nova Hollandia (New Holland).

They also discovered New Zealand and Tasmania, but unusually for the period did not lay claim to the region – finding the locals too hostile and the land too dry and barren.

It would be well over 100 years before the British arrived and decided to set up a penal colony.

The map is expected to make around £200,000-250,000 ($248,320-310,400).

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