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Extremely rare French Wall map of the Western Hemisphere by Gaspar Bailleul, surrounded by 30 vignettes illustrating scenes from European discovery and colonization.

Published in Lyon by Daudet, the map provides a fantastic look at the Northwest Coast of America, including a massive early appearance of the mythical Sea of the West, as well as an even more remarkable "Presque Isle de Nord Oest" (Peninsula of the Northwest) and an extensive set of annotations discussing early searches for the northwest passage and possible routes from the Pacific to the Mer Glaciale (Arctic Sea).

The map also provides the tracxts of a number of early explorers and circumnavigators.

Perhaps the most remarkable of all information on the map is the massive Indes Meridionales (Southern Indies), "Decouverte par le Sr. Binot Paulmier en 1503." This is a reference to the widely held belief that Binot Paulmier, Sieur de Gonneville, a French Sea Captain of the early 16th century, was generally believed to have discovered "Terra Australis," the so-called unknown southern continent, by most French Geographers and historians in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Bailleul's map provides one of the largest and most ambitious depictions of Paulmier's remarkable early contact with the New World.

In 1503, Paulmier, sailed from Honfleur in Normandy with his crew and the help of two Portuguese pilots, heading for the East Indies. When he reached the Cape of Good Hope his ship L'Espoir was diverted to an unknown land by a storm. In 1505, he returned claiming to have discovered the "great Austral land," which he also called the "Indies Meridionale."

Paulmier reported that his crew had remained for six months in this southern land, where the inhabitants didn't have to work because of the riches. Paulmier reported that his Indes Meridionales was six weeks' sail east of the Cape of Good Hope.

Paulmier's report of Indes Meridionales was not widely known or considered until 1663, when Jean Paulmier de Courtonne, Canon of the Church of Saint-Pierre at Lisieux, a relative of de Gonneville's, published a book called Memoirs Concerning the Establishment of a Christian Mission in the Austral Land, in which he claimed to be the great-grandson of an "Indian" brought back to France by the 1503 Paulmier expedition.

De Courtonne's claims were given serious study in France for more than 100 years and offered the French claims to new lands first discovered in the southern hemisphere, giving rise to French expeditions such as those of Bouvet and Bougainville.

In fact, Paulmier had made landfall along the coast of Brasil on and around the island of Santa Catarina, and that the inhabitants he encountered, one of whom, Iça-Mirim was taken back to France and married Paulmier's daughter, were Carijo Indians.

Condition Description
Wall map with original rollers, laid down on modern linen. Minor tears and abrasions, as illustrated.