1683 Engraving Early Map of Australia known as Tierra de Quir


A fascinating early copperplate engraved hand coloured print of the then ‘undiscovered’ land of Australia by the Spanish/Portiguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queiros (or Quir), in 1683.

The very nice condition engraving is titled DES TERRES AUSTRALES (Southern Lands) and shows the Southwest Pacific Ocean, with the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and below that, part of the landmass of Australia (Terre de Quir) and New Zealand (Nouvelle Zelande). The map is an illustration (page 251) by the cartographer Allain Manesson Mallet for the book ‘Description de l'Univers", contenant les differents systemes du Monde, les Cartes generales & particulieres de la Geographie Ancienne & Moderne: Les Plans & les Profils des principales Villes & des autres lieux considerables de la Terre; avec les portraits de Souverains qui y commandent, leurs Blasons, Titres & Livrees: Et les Moeurs, Religions, Gouvernements & divers habillemens de chaque Nation, dedieé au Roy’, in 1683. On the reverse (page 252) is a description on the Land of Quir and New Zealand, dating the discovery of Australia (Quir) to 1606.

Many early cartographers of the southern hemisphere believed that there was a great southern continent "Terra Australis", which was believed to extend significantly further north than the actual landmass of Antarctica, and possibly to include the island now known as Australia. One proponent of this theory was Spanish explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queiros, or as he is more often known Quiros. He believed that he had discovered this southern continent, hence the naming of Australia as ‘Terre de Quir’ or similar.
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós (Spanish: Pedro Fernández de Quirós) (1563–1614) was a Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain. He is best known for his involvement with Spanish voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean, in particular the 1595–1596 voyage of Álvaro de Mendaña y Neira, and for leading a 1605–1606 expedition that crossed the Pacific, discovering Terra Australis.

Size: 20.6 x 14 cm (8 1/8 x 5 ½ inches)
Weight: 360g