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Bowles's New One Sheet Map of AsiaÖ
London,: Bowles and Carver, circa, 1801.. Dissected map, 54 pieces with three blank replacement pieces (the lost pieces in the regions of Java, Sumatra and Hokkaido); hand-coloured lithograph paper laid down on wood, the completed map measuring 485 x 582 mm., in the original timber box with sliding lid, original printed label. A wonderful children's puzzle created from a very early scarce nineteenth-century map of Asia and the Pacific that includes details of the northernmost portion of Australia as well as an additional inset map of the entire Australian continent.Maps and charts were the first popular subject for puzzles in the eighteenth century, with the London mapmaker John Spilsbury usually credited with popularising them around 1760. Ethnographic and topographic puzzles soon followed, as did interlocking border puzzles (of which this is a particularly good example), the first known examples of which date from the mid-1770s.This puzzle was crafted from a map of greater Asia published by renowned London mapmakers Carter and Bowles. The hand-coloured map has been carefully dissected into 54 pieces which follow coastlines and national boundaries.The inset map of the Australian continent is rich in historical detail. Van Diemen's Land is depicted distinct from the mainland with 'Basses Str.' clearly printed. Notable harbours and landmarks along the eastern seaboard are noted, including Bateman's Bay, Port Jackson, Botany Bay, Cape Byron, Hervey Bay, Cape Morton and Cape York. Interestingly, the inset map records the sites and dates of early Dutch discoveries in Western Australia as well as William Dampier's first landfall of 1688.Regarding the map itself, Bowles's "New One Sheet Map of Asia" was issued several times with amendments. Early impressions bear a watermark dated 1794 and include the partial representation of northernmost Australia, yet lack the depiction of the Australian continent in its entirety reproduced on a smaller scale and inset to the lower left hand corner of the map. Perry & Prescott date the map 1801 - which would accord with the inclusion of Bass Strait - and record that the National Library holds a copy of it bound into an assorted collection of 53 world maps sold in London in the early nineteenth-century.Not in Hannas; Perry & Prescott, 'A Guide to Maps of Australia 1780-1830', 1802.06.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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