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The International Mapsellers Association Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren

Antique Maps

Leen Helmink
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers The International Map Collectors' Society


Antique map of Houtman Abrolhos and Swan River by van Keulen




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MAKER van Keulen
TITLE Hierdoor zijn wij Zee geraakt
PLACE ISSUED Amsterdam
FIRST EDITION 1753
THIS EDITION 1753
SIZE (hxw cms) 26.0 x 23.8
AREA SHOWN Houtman Abrolhos and Swan River
TECHNIQUE Copper engraving
PAGE NUMBER
SIGNATURE
VERSO blank
COLOURING b/w
CONDITION Light age-toning. No restorations or paper imperfections. The overall quality of this antique map is very good.
DESCRIPTION A set of two exceptionally rare maps of Western Australia by Gerard van Keulen, published only in the secret atlas of the Dutch East India Company, for internal use. The two sheets in question are normally not included in any atlas and only known in a handful of examples in institutions. They are among the most desirable contemporary maps of early exploration of Western Australia in very good condition.

One map shows in details the reefs with the dramatic shipwreck of the Zeewijk in June 1727 on the southern Houtman Abrolhos. The map is engraved after the manuscript map that was made during the shipwreck by skipper Jan Steyn of Middelburg. Clearly visible is the Half Moon Reef where the Zeewijk was stranded, so named by Steyn because of its shape. In the center is Gun Island, where the survivors of the Zeewijk lived for 10 months. They left on 26 March 1728 with the Sloepie, a vessel built by the survivors on this island. They reached Batavia on April 30, 1728. It is of one of the most heroic stories in the history of the discovery of Australia.

The map is known in two examples only: one in the Library of the University of Amsterdam, and one in the Australia National Library.

The other map shows the imprint of two copperplates that are known, but not in this configuration together on one sheet. The upper plate shows the Gerard van Keulen map of the Cocos Islands, and important aid in the navigation of the Dutch East India men. The lower plate is the one of special interest: it is a copperplate by Francois Valentijn, published in his 1726 volume of “Oud and Nieuw Oost Indien”, a monumental work on the Dutch East Indies. It was noted by Landwehr that this plate and a few others seem to have fallen into the hands of Gerard van Keulen, but only a few examples of imprints of the plates are known by the van Keulen house. This particular plate, which shows the Islands of Amsterdam and St Paulo in the Indian Ocean, is famous for its depiction of the Swann River (with numerous black swans) and the Island of Rottnest.

Imprints of this plate by van Keulen are also known in two examples: one in the Library of the University of Amsterdam, and one in the Australia National Library, but in both cases in a different configuration, i.e. not on one plate with the Cocos islands map.

Both charts come from a late example of the so-called 'secret atlas' of the Dutch East India Company. For many regions in Asia and Africa, these printed maps are the best and the only accurate early maps.

The maps from this atlas are exceptionally rare and never in the market, they are beyond doubt the non plus ultra of printed maps of the East Indies and the Indian Ocean.

GUARANTEE We do not sell reproductions. We guarantee that this is a genuine and original antique map that was published on or near the given date. A certificate of authentication is provided on request.



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Antique Maps Selected Highlights
Antique Maps of the World
Antique Maps of Asia
Antique Maps of America
Antique Maps of Africa
Antique Maps of Australia
Antique Maps of Europe
VOC Secret Atlas Charts


To our homepage Contact Us Terms & Conditions Search for items Translate with Fagan Print this page
The International Mapsellers Association Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren

Antique Maps

Leen Helmink
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers The International Map Collectors' Society