A very rare mid-18th century black and white map showing the route taken by Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603-1659?) the great Dutch navigator and explorer, on his way to discovering Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji. Leaving Batavia on August 14th 1642 in the ships Heemskerk and Zeehaen he was commanded by his employer, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Governor-General, Anthony van Diemen to explore the southern hemisphere to determine whether the discontinuous stretches of the northwest and west Australian coasts that had been discovered by Dutch navigators over the previous 35 years were continental and connected with the hypothetical southern continent.
In November 1642 he skirted the southern shores of Tasmania naming it Van Diemen’s Land and in December sighted the west coast of South Island, New Zealand and ventured northwards to the strait separating the North and South Island although he thought he had entered a bay. He left New Zealand in January 1643 at North Cape under the impression that he had probably discovered the west coast of the southern continent. He continued north and on January 21st he discovered Tonga and on February 6th the Fiji Islands. Turning northwest the ship reached New Guinea waters on April 1st and Batavia on June 14th, 1643, completing a 10-month voyage on which only 10 men had died from illness. Tasman had circumnavigated Australia without seeing it thus establishing that it was separated from the hypothetical southern continent. The chart compiled by Francois Valentyn was included in his 8-volume history of the East Indies entitled Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien that was published in Amsterdam by Gerard Onder de Linden and the bookseller Joannes van Bram between 1724 and 1726.