Dutch East Indies Nassau Fleet Cruising in America in 1624

With Early View of Acapulco & Map of Cape Horn Correctly Shown as an Island

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215. [L’HERMITE, Jacques (Commander & Admiral), Hesell Gerritz (Secretary), Jan Huygen Schapenham (Vice-Admiral), Julius Wilhem van Verschshoor (Navigator) & Johannes van Walbeeck (Mathematician)(attributed authors)]. Iovrnael van de Nassausche Vloot. Ofte Beschrijvingh van de Voyagie om den gantschen Aerd-Kloot, Gedaen met elf Schepen: Onder ‘t Beleydt van den Admirael Iaqves ‘L Heremite [sic], Ende Vice-Admirael Gheen Huygen Schapenham, In de Jaren 1623, 1624, 1625, en 1626. [Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius, ca. 1645-1646]. 1-79, [1, blank] pp. (text printed in black letter in double columns), 5 copper-engraved maps & views. 2a-2k4. Oblong 4to (19.7 x 25.3 cm), eighteenth-century blue marbled wrappers, stitched. Front hinge weak at top, otherwise fine, maps very fine.

Copper-Engraved Maps & Bird’s-Eye Views

1. Suydfyde van tierra del Fuego...door Ioanneum a Walbeek. 15.9 x 24 cm. Map of Tierra del Fuego including Lemaire’s Strait, Staten Island, and Cape Horn. Cartographic elements include lines of latitude and longitude, compass rose, scale, and names of islands. On February 2, 1624, the fleet entered the Strait of Lemaire, where the ships were dispersed by winds and Verschoor discovered Nassau Bay. Mathematician Walbeeck made a chart of the southeastern coast of Tierra del Fuego and the Straight of Lemaire, which for the first time correctly shows Cape Horn as an island. The map was at that time the most authentic delineation of the extremity of South America, lifting the cloud of vagaries regarding the Magellan Straits. Walbeeck’s original 1624 chart was the basis for the present engraved map.

2. Vertoning van’t Callao de Lima. 15.5 x 20.6 cm. Bird’s-eye view of Spanish and Dutch ships in Callao Bay, Peru, showing the port city of Callao. Compass rose, windmill, fortifications, tents, gallows, dwellings, and ships (names of the Dutch ships are given). The view illustrates the Dutch attack on the ship of the Admiral of the Spanish galleon and the burning of 30 merchant vessels at Callao on May 12, 1624. The command was shared by L’Hermite, who was very ill, and Schapenham.

3. Pascaert van de Zeecust van By Suyen Callao de Lima tot by Noorden de Bay achter de Piscadores [inset at lower left] Vertoning van de Ree in de Bay achter de Piscadores. 15.5 x 20.5 cm. Map of the coast of Peru from Lima to the Pescadores Islands showing the route taken by the Dutch fleet, with scale in Dutch miles, compass rose, rhumb lines. Includes inset of the bay east of the Pescadores Islands. This combined map and view shows the location where the Dutch (now under the command of Schapenham following the death of L’Hermite on June 2, 1624) anchored, dug wells, and watered on their way to plunder Spanish ships and the port of Guayaquil.

4. Afteykeninghe van de Rivier van Guayaquil, en de Eylanden Puna en Sta Clara. [inset at lower right] Vertoning van de Ree onder I. Puna.  15.7 x 20.5 cm. Map of the area around Guayaquil in Ecuador, including the islands of Puna and Santa Clara. The inset view presents the island and city of Puna, with eleven Dutch ships in harbor. Despite the debacle of the first attack on Guayaquil, Schapenham decided to attack a second time. Text notes that all the people had fled, so they set fire to the town of Puna and destroyed the Church before leaving.

5. Vertoning van de Haven van Acapulco. 15.6 x 20.5 cm. Bird’s-eye view of the bay and town of Acapulco, Mexico, and the adjacent Bay of Marquez. Includes European ships, compass rose, and fortifications. Convinced the expedition was destined to fail, the Dutch fleet sailed to Acapulco to regroup (the Dutch East India Company had been given a warm welcome at Acapulco in 1614). They determined to follow the orders of Prince Maurice of Nassau, who ordered the voyage to intercept the formidable Manila galleon. The Dutch reached Acapulco on 28 September 1624. The text notes the daunting presence of a recently rebuilt fort on a point of land intended to protect the Manila ships. This fine little view of Acapulco is among the earliest printed views of the bay and town.

     This account was first published in Amsterdam in 1626 [JCB I (2, 1600-1658), p. 201; Church 408; European Americana 1626/70]. The present edition was published as part of Isaak Commelin’s collection of early voyages of the Dutch East India Company, Begin ende Voortgang, Van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie [see JCB I (2, 1600-1658), p. 328 & 339; European Americana 1645/36 & 1646/41]. The present edition is a reprint of the 1643 edition with accounts not in the first edition of 1626: description of Peru by P. de Madriga (pp. 60-67); observations on Chile (pp. 67-68); and Pedro Fernándes de Queirós account of his quest to discover “Onbekent Austrialia” (Unknown Australia), which was omitted from the 1648 and subsequent editions (pp. 68-74). The final addition is “Waerachtich verhael van’t geene Inde Eylanden van Bande,” the volcanic islands now part of Indonesia (pp. 75-79).

     Church 408 (citing original edition of 1626): “One of the most valuable and best written of the early Dutch voyages is the journal of Admiral Jacques l’Hermite’s voyage around the world; 1623-1626. The object of this voyage was to find a better passage than that of Magellan by which the Dutch could reach the Moluccas from the east. By means of this voyage the Dutch were able to establish themselves in the East Indies.” Landwehr & van der Krogt, VOC: A Bibliography of Publications Relating to the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1800 250 II:19. NHSM, p. 115: “Vermoedelijk is de schrijver Johannes Walbeeck, die op het vlaggeschip was geplaatst. De expeditie had ten doel op de westkust de Spanjaarden afbreuk te doen. Te Calleo overleed admiraal l’Hermite, maar de elf schepen bereikten onder bevel van Gheen Huygen Schapenham alle op 1 maart 1625 behouden Oost-Indie, waar de vloot uiteenging. Sabin 14958-14960. Tiele, Mémoire bibliographique sur les journaux des navigateurs néerlandais 76e. Some sources cite the author as Adolph Becker, who was captain of the troops of the Nassau Fleet, but rather than authoring the Dutch work, he translated the text for the German edition.

This circumnavigation by the great armed fleet of eleven ships of the Dutch East Indies was ordered by Prince Maurice of Nassau and commanded by Admiral Jacob L’Hermite as an expedition to establish a southern route to the Dutch East Indies around Cape Horn, to investigate establishment of a Dutch colony on the west coast of South America, to attack Spanish merchant shipping, and to plunder Spanish gold and riches. They engaged in some spectacular raiding, and some not-so-spectacular forays.


Sold. Hammer: $1,600.00; Price Realized: $1,960.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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