Finely engraved map, showing the route of first Dutch fleet from Zuider Zee to Java in 1596-97, under the command of Cornelis De Houtman.
Rare De Bry edition of Cornelisz Claesz's map of the area extending from Africa to Southeast Asia and Northern Austalia, centered on India and the Indian Ocean.
De Bry's map is an early re-issue of a rare map of Africa and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, designed to illustrate the first Dutch expedition to Java undertaken by Cornelis de Houtman, 1595-1597. Houtman's route of the voyage is indicated.
The pioneer voyage by the Dutch to Southeast Asia took place in the years 1595-97, under the leadership of Cornelis De Houtman. He established several commercial relations, e.g. with the great pepper port of Banten on the north west coast of Java, near which the Dutch colony of Batavia would soon be founded.
This expedition gave Holland first-hand data about the Sunda Strait, the northern coast of Java, and the island of Bali. News of this voyage was related in several works. Most important was the Historie van Indien, published by Cornelis Claesz in 1598. The book was supposed to contain a new general map of Southeast Asia, but the map was suppressed.
The suppressed map was published by Claesz later the same year as a loose-sheet, and a year later, de Bry published the account of the voyage together with a general overview map and other maps. This map shows the route of the Dutch across the Indian Ocean to Java and back.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher best known for his engravings of the New World. Born in Liege, de Bry hailed from the portion of Flanders then controlled by Spain. The de Brys were a family of jewelers and engravers, and young Theodor was trained in those artisanal trades.
As a Lutheran, however, his life and livelihood was threatened when the Spanish Inquisition cracked down on non-Catholics. De Bry was banished and his goods seized in 1570. He fled to Strasbourg, where he studied under the Huguenot engraver Etienne Delaune. He also traveled to Antwerp, London, and Frankfurt, where he settled with his family.
In 1590, de Bry began to publish his Les Grands Voyages, which would eventually stretch to thirty volumes released by de Bry and his two sons. The volumes contained not only important engraved images of the New World, the first many had seen of the geographic novelties, but also several important maps. He also published a collection focus on India Orientalis. Les Grands Voyages was published in German, Latin, French, and English, extending de Bry’s fame and his view of the New World.