Pierre Du Val's map depicts the archipelago known as the Malay Archipelago, which includes present-day Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.
The map is a buce example of 17th-century cartography, providing a fascinating insight into the state of trade and colonization in the region at the time.
At the time the map was created, the Malay Archipelago was a vital hub for trade in spices and other goods between Europe, India, China, and the Middle East. The Dutch and Portuguese had established trading posts and colonies in the region. The map shows the major trading ports and cities.
In terms of colonization, the Dutch were the dominant power in the region at the time the map was created. They had established a trading post in Batavia and had also taken control of many of the small islands in the region. The Portuguese, who had previously controlled Malacca, were in decline, while the British had only established a small presence in the region.
Pierre Duval (1618-1683) was a French geographer, cartographer, and publisher who worked in Abbeville and Paris during the seventeenth century. He was born in the former city, in northeast France, before moving to Paris. Duval was the nephew of the famous cartographer Nicolas Sanson, from whom he learned the mapmaker's art and skills. Both men worked at the royal court, having followed the royal request for artists to relocate to Paris. In addition to numerous maps and atlases, Du Val's opus also includes geography texts. He held the title of geographe ordinaire du roi from 1650 and died in 1683, when his wife and daughters took over his business.