The Springs Road label is adapted from French cartographer Louis Freycinet’s 1808 map of southern Australia, ‘Carte Generale de la Terre Napoléon.’ Freycinet accompanied Nicholas Baudin on his voyage of discovery through the Southern Ocean between 1801 and 1803 and charted the coastline all the way from Wilson’s Promontory in the East (Victoria) to the Nullabor National Park in the West, centering on the ‘Iles Decres’, or Kangaroo Island.
‘Terre Napoleon’ is the first detailed map of Australia. As was the tradition of the time, maps were extravagantly illustrated and ‘Terre Napoleon’ was no exception. The French naturalist, artist and explorer Charles Alexandre Lesueur drew vignettes of the voyage and included Australian flora and fauna, including kangaroos and seals. The map ‘Terre Napoléon’ has two such illustrations and one of these features on the Springs Road label.
The neo-classical figure of Mercury is holding a Cadaceus and a garland of native Australian flora. Mercury is the Roman god (Hermes in Greek mythology) of travelers, commerce and was the messenger of the gods. He was also the god of financial gain, luck, trickery and thieves. He was the guide to souls on their way to the Underworld too. (His was a very mixed portfolio.)