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Johannes Van Keulen:  Oost Indien Wassende-Graade Paskaart, vertoonende nevens het Oosterlykste van Afrika, meede de Zeekusten van Asia, van C. de Bona Esperance tot Eso, boven Japan.

Indian Ocean

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Title: Oost Indien Wassende-Graade Paskaart, vertoonende nevens het Oosterlykste van Afrika, meede de Zeekusten van Asia, van C. de Bona Esperance tot Eso, boven Japan.

Map Maker: Johannes Van Keulen

Place / Date: Amsterdam / 1699 ca

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 31.5 x 24 inches

Condition: VG

Price: $36,000.00

Inventory ID: 46814


Important Second Edition -- Detailing The Discoveries of  Willem de Vlamingh on the West Coast of Australia

Rare separately issued sea chart of the region then controlled by the merchants of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.), extending from Africa and Saudi Arabia to the known coasts of Australia.

The present example is the second edition of the map, one of the earliest charts to detail the discoveries of Willem Hesselsz de Vlamingh along the West Coast of Australia.

The Goos-Van Keulen Chart of the Indian Ocean

Van Keulen's chart is an updated version of Pieter Goos' sea chart of the same title, which was separately issued by Goos circa 1658. Tony Campbell notes that this map is of tremendous import, being among the first to incorporate the new discoveries of the Dutch East India Company in Australia and the region. The chart provides a fantastic look at the East Indies, showing the coastline of Australia as established by Abel Tasman in 1644. As noted by Schilder, "this map contains a complete survey of Dutch expansion in the East Indies and takes into account Tasman's two voyages of exploration".

Important Updates Incorporated in the Second Edition

This edition is of great interest for the updated information along Australia's west coast. Extensive soundings are added offshore of present-day the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia. Beside this the following text is added where we find present-day Perth: Duinig land boven Lage Ruigte Gelijk Verdronk Boomen en Boschagte (Sunny land above low brushwood drowned trees and shrubbery).  This note is drawn from an earlier manuscript by Hessel Gerritsz, but added for the first time to this edition of the map.

The update of the soundings was very important as many Dutch ships were shipwrecked at the West Australian coast. The VOC flagship Batavia (1629), under the command of Commander Francois Pelsaert, was wrecked on the Abrolhos Islands, just 60 kilometers off the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia.

Most recently, in 694, the Ridderschap van Holland, had shipwrecked on the west coast, probably on the Abrolhos Islands.   In 1696, the VOC dispatched Willem Hesselsz Willem de Vlamingh, as commander of a rescue mission to Australia's west coast to look for survivors of the Ridderschap van Holland . There were three ships under his command: the frigate De Geelvink, captained by de Vlamingh; the De Nijptang; and the Weseltje. The expedition departed Texel 'stricly incognito' on 3 May 1696 and, because of the Nine Years' War with France, sailed around the coast of Scotland to Tristan de Cunha.  By September, the three ships arrived at Cape of Good Hope, where they stayed for seven weeks because of scurvy among the crew.  On 27 October they left, using the Brouwer Route on the Indian Ocean route from the African Cape of Good Hope to the Dutch East Indies. 

On 29 December 1696, de Vlamingh's party landed on Rottnest Island. He saw a giant jarrah, numerous quokkas (a native marsupial), and thinking they were large rats he named the island "rats' nest" (Rattennest in Dutch). He afterwards wrote of it in his journal:

I had great pleasure in admiring this island, which is very attractive, and where it seems to me that nature has denied nothing to make it pleasurable beyond all islands I have ever seen, being very well provided for man's well-being, with timber, stone, and lime for building him houses, only lacking ploughmen to fill these fine plains. There is plentiful salt, and the coast is full of fish. Birds make themselves heard with pleasant song in these scented groves. So I believe that of the many people who seek to make themselves happy, there are many who would scorn the fortunes of our country for the choice of this one here, which would seem a paradise on earth.

On January, 1697, he ventured up the Swan River. He and his crew are believed to have been the first Europeans to do so. They are also assumed to be the first Europeans to see black swans, and de Vlamingh named the Swan River (Zwaanenrivier in Dutch) after the large number of them they observed there. The crew split into three parties, hoping to catch an Aborigine, but about five days later they gave up their quest to catch a "South lander".

On January, 1697, they sailed through the Geelvink Channel. The next days they saw ten naked, black people. On January 24, 1697, they passed Red Bluff. Near Wittecarra they went looking for fresh water.  On February 4,1697, Vlamingh landed at Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia, and replaced the pewter plate left by Dirk Hartog in 1616 with a new one that bore a record of both of the Dutch sea-captains' visits.  

De Vlamingh commanded a return fleet from the Indies in February 1698, which arrived in  Amsterdam, on August 16, 1698, although it is not known if he survived the trip.

Van Keulen's Sea Charts

Vlamingh's information was quickly added by Van Keulen, then the official chartmarker for the VOC, to his chart of the Indian Ocean, offering for the first time a first hand account of sailing information and soundings for the west coast of Australia.

These charts were published in the Netherlands for use at sea and the Dutch vessels sailing to and from the Indies were equipped with these charts. Being an important mean for navigation they had to be kept up to date using the latest possible information. Being used on board ship they where due to perish easily and the remaining number of copies is therefore very small. Engraved sea chart printed on ply-paper.

The chart includes a curious misspelling of Van Keulen's name as Van Kuelen, an error only recently noted by Schilder in The Van Keulen Carthography, Appendix 5, 211, page 186.

The chart was issued separately and also sometimes included in Van Keulen's his sea-atlases and "made to order" copies of the "Zee Fakkel", which would account for the careless trimming to the upper border. An advertisement of sea atlases, pilot books, charts, etc. sold by Joh. van Keulen, printed in the "Zee-Alas" of 1695 is known and mentions "als meede vier groote Paskaarten op Perkement, die voor desen Pieter Goos totsijn gebruyk gehad heeft, te weten OostIndien Wassende graden".


Van Keulen's Indian Ocean Chart appears very infrequently on the market, with this second edition being very rare.

A copy of the Goos map on Vellum (which was also trimmed even more than the present example) sold at Sothebys in May 2010 for approximately $350,000 USD (Sale L10401, Lot 67).

Condition Description: 2-sheets joined. Trimmed at the top, as is frequently the case.

References: Schilder, Australia Unveiled, p.202 (pl.XLIV, the Goos state). Tooley, Mapping of Australia, 792.

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Indian Ocean