Rare and Desirable Early Map of Taiwan
"Kaart van het Eyland Formosa en de Eylanden van Piscadores", Valentyn, Francois
Period: 1726 (published)
Publication: Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien...
Color: Black & White
22 x 17.4 inches
55.9 x 44.2 cm
This rare map is one of the earliest printed maps of Taiwan. It is based on a 1640 manuscript map of Formosa by Johannes Vingboones, a Dutch cartographer who based his maps and watercolors of far-off lands off of accounts from the VOC and Dutch West India Company (WIC). From 1624 to 1662 (and later from 1664 to 1668), the Dutch established a colonial presence in southern and western Formosa. The Dutch hoped to cut in on the colonial and trading power of Spain and Portugal in East Asia, but they were ultimately driven off the island by the Chinese and the island's aborigine population.
Valentyn's map of the island updates Vingboones's map with inland topographical detail and additional information in the north and northeast. It includes the Piscadores (Penghu Islands) and part of the coast of China. There are navigational soundings along the coast, mostly concentrated in the area of the former Dutch Formosa. Soundings also surround the Penghu Islands and extend to the Chinese coast. A compass rose orients north to the left. This was published by Joannes van Braam and Gerard Onder de Linden in the fourth volume of Valentyn's Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien.
Valentyn was a prominent historian of the Dutch East India Company who is best known for Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien, his vast illustrated account of the Dutch trading empire in Asia. He twice traveled to the East Indies and served as Calvinist minister to Ambon between 1686 and 1694. In preparing this monumental work, he was given privileged access to the previously secret archives of the VOC, containing transcripts and copies of important earlier Dutch voyages.
References: Shirley (BL Atlases) G.VALN-1a #43.
A dark impression issued folding on a bright sheet with a Strasburg Bend & Lily watermark. There is minor offsetting, some some printer's ink residue at top and a chip at top right, not affecting the image. There is a binding trim in the right blank margin and a chip that enters 1" into the image at right has been archivally reattched.