26 September 2002
Chart of Ile Depuch showing also Sable Island and coastline, by François-Michel Ronsard, autograph manuscript signed 'L offe de Genie Maritime [naval engineer] Ronsard' in lower right-hand corner, pen, pencil and watercolour on paper, grid in pencil, compass and soundings in ink, border ruled in ink, watermark: 'D. & C. BLAUW', 11 7/8 x 17¾in. (30.1 x 45.2cm.), July 1801
This chart was made by Ronsard after his visit to the island on 27-28 July 1801 at which time he established that it was volcanic - the first geological evidence the French explorers had found of volcanic activity on the Australian continent. The island was named after Louis Depuch, a mineralogist on Baudin's expedition. Neighbouring Ronsard Island was named for the cartographer.
Ronsard explains in an autograph note (14 lines) on the recto of the chart that the circumstances in which the chart was undertaken had prevented a more thorough topographical survey being made at the time. These circumstances are elaborated upon by Péron and Freycinet in their account of the voyage in which they describe Baudin's order to Ronsard to leave the Géographe in a canoe to reconnoitre the island, at the same time refusing permission to the naturalists on board to accompany him. (Voyage, Vol I., p.129)
The chart is annotated by Ronsard below the ruled border 'Ile Depuch nommée d'abord Ile des Amiraux' and numbered by other hands 'No. 46. No. 27'. It was used in the preparation of plate 24 in the Baudin, Atlas.
Literature: Marchant, p.155.
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