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An Unusual Treatment of Australia and the Unknown Southern Continent

Decorative world map, showing California as an island, the tracks of several explorers around the world and Celestial images of the sun Kircher and the moon by Cassini.

The map features Terres Australes Inconnues (the unknown Southern Continent), which connects to Australia, with no sign of the coastline of New Zealand.

The key below the map identifies the capitals of a number of the major countries around the world, along with a key describing the geographical features of the land and sea. A finely engraved map from Chatelain's monumental 7 volume Atlas Historique, one of the most famous and prolific works of the early 18th century. Striking full color example.

Henri Chatelain Biography

Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743) was a Huguenot pastor of Parisian origins. Chatelain proved a successful businessman, creating lucrative networks in London, The Hague, and then Amsterdam. He is most well known for the Atlas Historique, published in seven volumes between 1705 and 1720. This encyclopedic work was devoted to the history and genealogy of the continents, discussing such topics as geography, cosmography, topography, heraldry, and ethnography. Published thanks to a partnership between Henri, his father, Zacharie, and his younger brother, also Zacharie, the text was contributed to by Nicolas Gueudeville, a French geographer. The maps were by Henri, largely after the work of Guillaume Delisle, and they offered the general reader a window into the emerging world of the eighteenth century.