Hessel Gerritsz

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    Hessel Gerritsz was born in 1580, and died in 1633. In 1617 he was appointed to the post of cartographer to the Dutch East India Company. Gerritsz composed the chart that forms the background to the souvenir sheet in 1622. Little of substance from the chart can be seen, but on the original a small part of the Australian continent in the Cape York peninsula area was shown. The map is preserved in the Archives of the Depot of the Marine in Paris.
     The four stamps represent, clockwise from the upper left, Abel Tasman and a portion of the logbook he kept in 1642-1643; a painting by Aert Anthonisz in 1618, Het Schip de Eendraght Voor Ijselmonde, which is preserved in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; (Dirck Hertog landed in western Australia in 1616 in the ship Eendraght); a globe with Tasman’s hand from a portrait of the Tasman family by J.G. Guypi; and a portrait of the English explorer and buccaneer, William Dampier. Dampier was the first Englishman to set foot in Australia. He also rescued Alexander Selkirk who had been marooned; Selkirk’s adventures were the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s novel, Robinson Crusoe.

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