Elaborate Map Depicting Cornelis de Houtman First Voyage to the East Indies
"Descriptio Hydrographica Accommodata ad Battavorum Navagatione in Javam Insulam Indiae Orientalis... / Eygentliche und Ausfuhrliche Mappa de Orientallischen Indien Darinen auch mit Puntten Angezeichnet di hin und wider um Reise der Hollander...", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Eastern Hemisphere
Period: 1599 (circa)
Publication: Petits Voyages, Part III
Color: Black & White
26.1 x 14.1 inches
66.3 x 35.8 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
This elaborate map, issued on two sheets and joined, is from a German edition of Theodore de Bry's Petit Voyages. It covers a wide region from the Azores and eastern Brazil to Australia and New Guinea, and graphically displays the first Dutch trading voyage to the East Indies by Cornelis de Houtman in 1596. This voyage was instrumental in breaking the Portuguese trade monopoly in the region and shifting control to the Dutch. The highly detailed chart is based primarily on the sailing directions of Linschoten, but was augmented by information de Houtman obtained access to while living in Portugal. Cartographically, the East Indies are still very rudimentary in form with only a northern coastline depicted on Java. The large Terra Australis Incognita includes the lands of Lucach, Maletur and Beach based upon Marco Polo's explorations. In Africa, the Nile is based on the Ptolemaic concept, originating from two large lakes south of the equator. In the North Pacific, Korea is depicted as an island. Beautifully decorated in de Bry's style with sailing ships, compass roses, and a strapwork title cartouche with titles in both Latin and German.
References: Garratt (TMC-9) p. 10.
Issued folding with professional repairs to a number of small fold separations and three small tears in the center of the image, each approximately 1-1.5" wide. Trimmed to the neatline on all sides and to just inside the border at top right, as issued, with some small margin extension and reinforcement on verso. There is light printer's ink residue.