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Rarity of the Spice Islands

Spice Islands/ Celebes/ Mindinao. VALENTYN, F. [Amsterdam, 1728]
De Landvoogdy der Moluccos. 18 x 23 inches.
Fine hand color; reinforcement to left margin not affecting surface, light offsetting, else excellent.


Rare; a very early map to focus on some of the most prized Spice Islands of far southern Asia. The key islands of Seram (“Ceram”) and Ambon (“Amboina”) are at the lower center of the main map. Francois Valentyn spent many years in the East Indies in the employ of the Dutch East India Company (V. O. C.), during which time he gathered materials for the atlas that contained this chart. Called Oud en Niew Oost-Indien, it “contained an unprecedented selection of large-scale maps and views of the Indies, many of which were superior to previously available maps” (Suarez). The primary map on this engraving extends as far north as the Philippine island of Mindanao, seen at upper left. The inset at top right covers the southern part of the Celebes island group, the north part of which is shown on the main map.

Suarez, T. Early Mapping of Southeast Asia, p. 232.

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