Rare view of two sailing ships in the Malacca Trade, one of which is apparently breaking up on the rocks, from Olivier Van Noort's Description du Penible Voyage Faict entour de l'Univers ou Globe Terrestre, published by Cornelis Claes in 1602.
Olivier van Noort (1558-1627) was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the world. Van Noort left Rotterdam on July 2, 1598 with four ships and a plan to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands. He initially landed at Rio Janeiro, Brazil, but was driven back, and along the coast suffered many losses by the attacks of the Indians. He resolved to winter in the deserted island of Santa Clara, then set sail again on June 2, 1599.
On June 29, 1599, he discovered an island near the coast of Patagonia, and stopped there to repair damages. On November 23, 1599, he entered the Strait of Magellan, and landed on the northern coast, where he was attacked by the Indians and again suffered many losses. Soon afterward he anchored among the Penguin islands, and subsequently he discovered the bays of Olivier, Mauritius, and Henry, but could not explore the latter on account of the ice.
On February, 1600, Van Noort and the remaining crew left the Strait of Magellan, and, entering the South sea, sailed along the Chilian and Peruvian coasts, pillaging and burning as he went, and capturing several Spanish ships. The viceroy, Luis Velasco, sent a fleet to capture him, but Noort had already set sail across the Pacific in the direction of the Ladrone Islands. He pillaged the Philippines, visited Java and Borneo, and, sailing round the Cape of Good Hope, arrived back in Rotterdam in August 26, 1601.
Van Noort returned to Rotterdam with only his last ship, the
Mauritius, and 45 of his original crew of 248 men. The venture barely broke even, but was the inspiration for more such expeditions. The United Dutch East India Company (VOC) was formed a few months later. Van Noort's
Description du Penible Voyage Faict entour de l'Univers ou Globe Terrestre, provides his account of the voyage, including a detailed account of the coasts of Brazil, Argentina, the Straits of Magellan, Chile, Peru and the subsequent Trans-Pacific Crossing. The maps and views, engraved by Baptista Van Deutecum and Benjamin Wright, are among the earliest regional printed images of the areas shown. The last complete example of the book to be sold at auction was sold at the Frank Streeter Sale, April 16, 2007, where it was sold for $45,600, including premium.
Olivier Van Noort was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe, between 1598 and 1601.