Lot of 14 Sea Life Engraving


Product No. valentijn-sea-group

Out of stock

Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien

This remarkable engraving is from Francois Valentijn’s Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien The work was published in Amsterdam between 1724 and 1726. The work described the history of the Dutch East India Company and the countries of the Far East including Australia, Ceylon, India, China, and Japan.

Francois Valentijn (1666-1777) was a Dutch minister and naturalist. He was employed as a minister of the East Indies at 19, and befriended another naturalist Georg Eberhard Rumpf (Rumphius). He also served as an army champlain on an expedition in easter Java. He then returned to Holland and completed this work.

The work is still considered was “the most comprehensive work on Asia published in Europe during the early colonial period” (Landwehr). “The first book to give a comprehensive account in text and illustration, of the peoples, places, and natural history of Indonesia” (Bastin & Brommer).

Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien featured numerous illustrations of flora, fauna, native life, exploration, and important maps and charts. Some of the best Dutch artists of the period contributed to the work including F. Ottens, J.C. Philips, J. Goeree, G. Schoute and J. Lamsvelt and M. Balen. The shells and sea life were based on Georg Eberhard Rumpf’s work. Valentijn’s more fanciful fish illustrations owe to the influence of Louis Renard.

The Dutch East India Company (or V.O.C. – Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) guarded their maps and geographic information during most of their dominance in the spice trade. They usually prohibited any former employees from publishing anything about the region, thus it is very fortunate Valentijn’s work was published at all, and that it gave us such a detailed account of this period in time.

Search Prints