Australia’s “birth certificate” sells for $320,000

The earliest known map of Australia and New Zealand, Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagi Orientalis Sive Asiaticus (1659) sold for £248,750 (US$321,819) at a Sotheby’s auction in London this week.

Referred to as “Australia’s birth certificate” by the National Library of Australia during its recent Mapping Our World exhibition, the map was the first to name Australia as Nova Hollandia (New Holland) and the first to name Novo Zeelandia (New Zealand).

Though only four copies of Joan Blaeu’s map are known to exist, the map that sold at Sotheby’s on May 9, 2017 was created even earlier than the copy held by Australia’s National Library (1663), having been created in 1659

The 1.17 m x 1.59 m (46 in x 62 in) Archipelagi Orientalis was one of two original and unrestored maps by Joan Blaeu discovered in an...

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