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Detailed map of the region bounded by the Red Sea in the west and the Malay Peninsula in the east, prepared to illustrate the Dutch Translation of the journals of Ralph Fitch.

Fitch was a gentleman merchant from London and one of the earliest English Travellers in Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and SE Asia.

In February 1583 he embarked in the Tyger for Tripoli and Aleppo, togther with merchants John Newbery and John Eldred, a jeweller named William Leedes and a painter, James Story, all financed by the Levant Company. From Aleppo, they reached the Euphrates, descended the river from Bir to Falluja, crossed southern Mesopotamia to Baghdad, and dropped down the Tigris to Basra (May to July 1583). Here Eldred stayed behind to trade, while Fitch and the others sailed down the Persian Gulf to Ormuz, where they were promptly arrested as spies (at Venetian instigation, as they believed) and sent prisoners to the Portuguese viceroy at Goa (September to October).

Pieter van der Aa Biography

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.