Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2005 Issue

Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies From Gert Jan Bestebreurtje

R004

Francois Valentijn's epic work on the Dutch East Indies.


Item 563, by Francois Valentijn, is Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien... This is a five-volume (in eight folio books) history of the Far East published in Amsterdam from 1724-1726. Valentijn was a Dutch Reformed Church minister who lived for many years on Java, but this history covers many other eastern lands, from Persia to India to China and Japan. It is a notably important resource as many of the documents and manuscripts on which it was based no longer exist. The set is generously illustrated by many of the best artists of the day, possessing 338 engraved maps, portraits, plans and views. €36,000 (US $44,055).

Item 495 is Voiage de Gautier Schouten aux Indies Orientales... Schouten was a Dutch seaman who served in the East Indies on behalf of the Dutch East India Company from 1658-1665. He was present for some of the campaigns whereby the Dutch secured their hold on the territory, and participated in several voyages. Schouten was a careful observer and made a point of traveling inland from the ports he visited to learn more about the areas. His accounts were thorough and quite popular in their day, this work going through at least seven editions. This is a first French edition, published in two volumes in 1707 (it was part of a larger set). €1,450 (US $1,775).

Item 99 is a Narrative of events in Borneo and Celebes, down to the occupation of Labuan: from the Journal of James Brooke. Together with a narrative of the operations of H.M.S. Iris. The writers of this two-volume set were Brooke and Rodney Mundy. Mundy commanded the British ship Iris on routine duties in the East Indies from 1844-1846. In 1846, he was called on to assist James Brooke in his campaign against pirates. They attacked pirates based on Brunei and forced the Sultan thereof into submission. They took possession of the island of Labuan, which was held by the British for many years until more recently ceded to Malaysia. €1,295 (US $1,585).

Item 266 is a series of recent scholarly journals pertaining to Indonesia and Southeast Asia. It is a run of 65 out of 66 issues (number 65 is missing) of the Journal of Cornell University: Southeast Asia Program Publications. The collection runs from 1966 through 1998. €425 (US $520).

Item 534 is a masterpiece of natural history from the area today known as Indonesia. This is three volumes in four imperial folios edited by Coenraad Temminck: Verhandelingen over de natuurlijke geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche bezittingen... When the Dutch returned to the East Indies after the Napoleonic Wars, the government authorized a series of explorations. Most notable in these volumes are the hand-colored plates, depicting the people, animals, plants and scenery of the islands. There are a total of 259 plates, of which 169 are hand-colored. Only 250 copies of this outstanding work were published. €35,000 (US $42,831).

You may download this and other Gert Jan Bestebreurtje catalogues from their website. Go to www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com and click on "Catalogues" on the toolbar. Their phone number is +31 (0)347 322 548.

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