Detroit de la Sonde by Perron, 1889
Detroit de la Sonde by Charles Perron, 1889.
This map is of the Sunda Strait (Detroit de la Sonde in French) which passes between the islands of Sumatra and Java. Most of the names are in Dutch, since Sumatra and Java were part of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). The strait connects the Indian Ocean to the Java Sea and was used as a gateway to the Indonesian Spice Islands. It is difficult to navigate since it becomes narower and shallower in the east. France abstained from the vote to make Greenwich the official Prime Meridian at the International Meridian Conference in 1884, so the map still measures longitude from Paris, though the Greenwich longitude is included along the bottom.
Charles Perron (1837-1909) was a Swiss artist and cartographer. He was the son of an enamel painter and spent five years in Russia studying the trade. In 1872 he turned his attention to mapmaking. Perron drew the maps for Elisee Reclus' (1830-1905) Nouvelle Geographie Universelle which was published in nineteen volumes from 1876 to 1894. Each volume focused on a different geographic region and contained colored maps, prints, and an index of places. Reclus was a French geographer, writer and anarchist. He was awarded the Gold Medal for his work with the Paris Geographical Society in 1892, despite having been banished for his political activism.
- Naomi Bean