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1857 Wüllerstorf-Urbair Map of St. Paul Island, Indian Ocean, 'Novara' Expedition

Indischer Ocean Insel St. Paul. / [St. Paul Island, Indian Ocean]. - Main View

1857 Wüllerstorf-Urbair Map of St. Paul Island, Indian Ocean, 'Novara' Expedition


An Antarctic island that is an important bird sanctuary.


Indischer Ocean Insel St. Paul. / [St. Paul Island, Indian Ocean].
  1857 (dated)     18.5 x 27 in (46.99 x 68.58 cm)     1 : 9800


This is a rare 1857 Baron Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair map of St. Paul Island (Île Saint-Paul), a remote island in the extreme southern Indian Ocean, French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Today Île Saint-Paul is an important bird sanctuary. This is one of a series of maps of Indian Ocean islands compiled during the 1857 - 1859 Novara Expedition. The map includes a bird's-eye view of the island at bottom, and another illustration at top showing the island as it would have appeared from the ship. Near the top is a legend, along with latitude, longitude, and a number of other measurements and explanatory notes.
St. Paul Island (Île Saint-Paul)
A beautifully-shaped volcanic island, St. Paul's Island sits in the southern Indian Ocean. It is close to the Île Amsterdam, which is the reason that it was claimed by France, initially before the Novara expedition, though only temporarily until the 1890s. Although it had been mapped as early as 1559 by Portuguese mariners, this was the first proper map of the island. It has historically been used to help check bearings, but a number of ships have wrecked on the island, leaving their crews in dire straits (one of the legend notes says that 'neither wood nor good drinking water can be found').
The Novara Expedition of 1857 – 1859
The Austrian Navy frigate Novara under the command of Baron Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair circumnavigated the globe between April 30, 1857 and August 26, 1859. The ambitious scientific voyage and included several well-known scientists, among them a geologist, an ethnologist, and a zoologist. It had the support of high-level Austrian nobles, officials, and scientists, including Alexander von Humboldt. Many items collected on the voyage were later housed in museums in Vienna, especially the imperial Naturhistorisches Hofmuseum.

Aside from von Wüllerstorf-Urbair's own account of the voyage, mentioned below, a report stretching to 21 volumes on various aspects of the journey (zoology, anthropology, geology and paleontology, linguistics, etc.) was presented to the Viennese Academy of Sciences and published for the public. An abridged three volume account was also published by Dr. Karl von Scherzer in English and German. The long-term impact was considerable, especially in the sciences. Among other results, Scherzer brought back to Austria an extensive collection of coca leaves that he gave to a graduate student, Albert Niemann, who was the first to isolate cocaine. In 2004, the Novara was featured on the 20 Euro coin.
Publication History and Census
This map was printed by the K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (the Imperial Royal State Printing Office) and is attributed to Baron Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair. It also carries the seal of the Hydrographische Anstalt (Hydrographic Institute) in Vienna. Although it is dated to 1857 and usually cataloged as such, it likely was printed in 1859, after the voyage's completion. It is held by a number of libraries and universities in Europe and North America but is scarce to the market.


Baron Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair (January 29, 1816 – August 10, 1883) was an Austrian naval officer and later Minister of Trade. Wüllerstorf-Urbair was born in Trieste, then ruled by Austria, and later returned to Italy to manage the naval observatory in Venice. He was made captain and Commodore of the Novara for its 1857 – 1859 circumnavigation of the globe, which he wrote about in a book titled Journey of the Austrian Frigate Novara around the Earth in 1857, 1858, 1859 under the command of Commodore B. von Wüllersdorf-Urbair (German title Reise der oesterreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde…). Learn More...


Very good. Some toning and spotting.


OCLC 670723313.