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An accomplished work of design and engraving: 1666 chart of Southeast Asia by Abraham Goos.

Place/Date: Amsterdam / 1666
$9,000.
Title: Paskaerte Zynde t’Oosterdeel van Oost Indien, met Alle de Eylanden daer Ontrendt Geleegen van C. Comorin tot aen Japan
Dimensions
53.5 x 44.5 cm (21 x 17.5 in)
Identifier
NL-00789
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG+

Description

This beautifully engraved chart was published in Zee Atlas, the comprehensive pilot book produced by well-known Amsterdam publisher Abraham Goos. It is centered on Southeast Asia with parts of Australia, extending to an area from east India and Cape Comorin to Japan and Korea. It is oriented with east at the top, with three prominent vertical lines marking the Tropic of Cancer (≈23°N), the equator (0°), and the Tropic of Capricorn (≈23°S).

This chart stands out among 17th century maps of Southeast Asia. Its importance and quality are attested to by the fact that it was copied by both John Seller and Frederick de Wit. Furthermore, the de Wit plates were later acquired and re-struck by both Louis Renard and R. & J. Ottens.

Southeast Asia in the 17th century was of course marked by the rise of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), formed in 1602 when several Dutch firms competing for the Indies trade were consolidated into a single global corporate power. This chart represents the advanced cartographic knowledge known to Dutch VOC vessels, three of which adorn the map, sailing the waters of the Indian Ocean.

The VOC sponsored the influential exploratory voyages of Abel Tasman, the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands. The unfinished Australia on our chart (labeled Nova Hollandia) is based on information compiled during Abel Tasman’s second voyage of 1644. Setting out from Batavia on 30 January, 1644, Tasman and his crew sailed along the south of New Guinea with the goal of mapping eastern Australia. For some reason, he turned back before the Torres Straights, and instead mapped the north coast of Australia, starting with the Gulf of Carpentaria, shown in detail on Goos’s chart.

Overall, an exceptional display of Dutch mapmaking.

Cartographer(s)

Pieter Goos

Pieter Goos (1616–1675) was a Dutch cartographer, copperplate engraver, publisher and bookseller. He was the son of Abraham Goos (1590–1643), also a cartographer and map seller.

From 1666, Pieter Goos published a number of well produced atlases. He was the first to map Christmas Island, which he labelled “Mony” in his map of the East Indies, published in his 1666 Zee-Atlas (Sea Atlas). His Atlas ofte Water-Weereld (Atlas or Water World) has been cited as one of the best maritime atlases of its time.

Condition Description

Short margins, else excellent.

References

Koeman, Goos 3 (26); Parry, Plate 4.32; Clancy, p. 83 map 6.14.

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