Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

The Dutch East India Company from Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Beste47

Books about the Dutch East India Company.

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books has issued a catalogue of The Dutch East India Company (VOC). The VOC (those are initials in Dutch for Dutch East India Company) operated from the 17th to the 19th century. At one time, it was one of the largest colonial powers in the world, even though it wasn't a country. Its largest "possession" was the vast archipelago that forms today's Indonesia. Though at one time immensely profitable, in time it broke down, and its possessions became regular colonies of the Netherlands. This latest catalogue from Bestebreurtje Rare Books is focused on the VOC and its times. The books are almost all inexpensive, with information more the watchword than high-end collecting. The primary language of the items offered is Dutch, but English runs a very respectable second, with a few titles in French and other tongues as well.

 

The Dutch and the East India Company are primarily associated with today's Indonesia, their major colony, but we will look at some items that relate to their involvement with other lands in the East. Item 98 is Formosa under the Dutch described from contemporary records with explanatory notes and a bibliography of the island, by William Campbell. Originally published in London in 1903, this is a Taipei reprint from 1967. Formosa (so named earlier by the Portuguese, which translates to "beautiful island") is the island today known as Taiwan. The Dutch settled the southern part of the island in 1624, needing a base from which to trade with China. At the time, they had to compete with the Spanish and Portuguese for access to China. However, the Dutch and the VOC were able to set up trade in agriculture with the island as well. Control of Taiwan was never easy for the Dutch. First they had to battle aboriginal natives into submission, then secure the northern part of the island from Spain. Those goals accomplished, by mid century they had to battle immigrants from China, who chafed under taxes and regulations imposed by the Dutch. Finally, they had to endure attacks from China related to power struggles taking place there. By the 1660s, the Dutch had had enough of Taiwan and abandoned the island. Priced at €65 (euros, or about $93 in U.S. dollars).

 

At the time the Dutch and the VOC were expelling the Spanish from Taiwan, they embarked on the same mission with Spain's ally, the Portuguese, on the Malay Peninsula. The Portuguese had set up shop over a hundred years earlier in the city of Malaca. The area never became of critical importance to the Dutch. It was more a matter of diminishing the influence of Spain and Portugal in the area. Nonetheless, they remained in part of modern-day Malaysia for almost two centuries. Meanwhile, their seat of power in the area quickly settled in Batavia, today's Jakarta, Indonesia. Finally, as a result of an 1825 treaty with Britain that recognized the Netherlands' rights to their East Indies (Indonesia), the Dutch permanently left Malaysia. Item 611 recounts some of that history: History of the Dutch in Malaysia. In commemoration of Malaysia's 50 years as an independent nation and over four centuries of friendship and diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Netherlands, by Dennis de Witt. Published in 2007. €35 (US $50).

 

Items 32 and 33 are volumes 1 and 2 of Dutch Sources on South Asia c. 1600-1825, by Lennart Bes. These books cover a couple of centuries of contacts between the Netherlands and the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. Volume 1 (2001) contains a bibliography and guide to all related material in the Dutch National Archives in the Hague. Item 32. €30 (US $43). Volume 2 (2007) contains the same for material located in the Netherlands outside of the National Archives. Item 33. €40 (US $57).

 

Here is an account of a shipwreck that combined natural disaster with unnatural cruelty. Item 422 is De schipbreuk van de Batavia, 1629, by Francisco Pelsaert, commander of the not-so good ship Batavia, on its maiden and only voyage. Pelsaert had been a merchant working for the VOC when his ship was sent to the East Indies with a load of coins, jewels, and various staples intended for trade. Unbeknownst to the commander, a couple of officers under him began conspiring to mutiny along the way. They hoped to use the riches to set themselves up on some exotic island or other, out of reach of Dutch authorities. After leaving Cape Town, they deliberately steered the ship off course. However, before the mutiny was physically carried out, the boat wrecked on a reef along some islands off the west coast of Australia. There was little food and no water, so Pelsaert and a few others headed for Australia to seek water. Not succeeding, they decided to make a run for help in Batavia, a month away, in their longboat. Meanwhile, Jeronimus Cornelisz, a leader of the would-be mutiny, took charge of the survivors. Cornelisz initiated a reign of terror that made the French Revolution seem tame. In order to preserve supplies for the conspirators, he had his men gradually begin killing off the others. The process seems to have evolved from practical to fun for the brutal mutineers. In all, over 100, including women and children, were killed. In the end, Cornelisz and his cohorts would get theirs when Pelsaert and the rescuers arrived, Cornelisz being hung on the spot after his hands were chopped off. Unfortunately, Pelsaert was partly blamed for doing a poor job of running the ship, did not receive an expected promotion, and died just a year later. This book is a much later (2002) printing of his journal. €30 (US $43).

 

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé<br>Sales Exhibition Catalogue 47<br>Part III<br>Antiquarian Temptations:<br>Rare Books, Atlases & Maps,<br>Photos & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> PIETER MORTIER. “Le Neptune Francois ou Atlas Nouveau des Cartes Marines. Levées et Gravées par ordre Exprés du Roy…” Paris, 1693.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> MARC CHAGALL illus. SHAKESPEARE. “The Tempest.” Large folio. Monte-Carlo, 1975. Signed by the artist.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> JOHN SPEED and followers. “A New and Accurate Map of the World.” Hand-colored engraving. London (1626 – 1627 – circa 1650) – 1676.
    <center><b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé<br>Sales Exhibition Catalogue 47<br>Part III<br>Antiquarian Temptations:<br>Rare Books, Atlases & Maps,<br>Photos & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> MATTHÄUS SEUTTER. “The Colossus Series.” Set of 4 prints, contemporary hand-colored engravings, each c. 57x49cm. Augsburg c. 1730
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> (CHARLES LE BRUN). “La Grande Galerie De Versailles, et Les Deux Salons qui L’Accompagnent, peints Par Charles Le Brun premier Peintre de Louis XIV…” Paris, 1752.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> G. BRAUN – F. HOGENBERG. “Danorum Marca.” Contemporary hand-colored engraving, 33x48cm. Cologne, 1588.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> LIFE OF OSLER, PRESENTATION COPY TO NEPHEW NORMAN GWYN. CUSHING, HARVEY. 1869-1939. <i>The Life of Sir William Osler.</i> Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1925. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> OSLER TO HALSTED MENTIONING CUSHING AND WELCH. Autograph Letter Signed ("Wm Osler") to William Stewart Halsted on medical matters, 2 pp, January 19, 1919. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> CUSHING PRESENTATION COPY TO LUCIEN PRICE. CUSHING, HARVEY. <i>Intracranial Tumours.</i> Springfield, 1932. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> OSLER ON HIS CHILDHOOD. Autograph Letter Signed ("Wm Osler") to Mabel [Brewster] on returning home to Staplehurst. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> SCULTETUS, JOHANNES. 1595-1645. <i>Cheiroplotheke, seu armamentarium chirurgicum XLIII.</i> Ulm: Balthasar Kühnen, 1655. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> VICQ D'AZYR, FELIX. 1748-1794. <i>Traite d'anatomie et de physiologie.</i> Paris: Didot l'aine, 1786. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> TAGAULT, JEAN. C.1499-1546. <i>De chirugica institutione libri quinque....</i> Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1549. $400 to $600.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Autograph Logs and Journals from his 1927 Alaska Expedition. $7,000 to $ 9,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Cañon de Chelley, 1904. Oversized orotone, 17 x 22in in original Curtis Studio frame. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). 26 cyanotypes, featuring images of Cheyenne tribes from Volume VI of <i>North American Indian,</i> c.1907, made by Curtis in the field. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). The Vanishing Race, 1904. Oversized orotone, 18 x 24in in original Curtis Studio frame. $20,000 to $30,000.
  • <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [CIVIL WAR] -- [SHERIDAN, Philip Henry]. Personal headquarters flag of Philip Henry Sheridan used when he led the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Spring - Summer 1862. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY]. Half plate daguerreotype of firefighter Walter Van Erven Dorens. [San Francisco]: n.p., [ca 1854-1856]. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [LINCOLNIANA]. Abraham Lincoln banner possibly made for the 1864 presidential campaign. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [REVOLUTIONARY WAR - CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. [HOLTEN, Dr. Samuel]. An archive of letters related to Danvers, Massachusetts, physician and statesman Dr. Samuel Holten. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD]. CARBUTT, John, photographer. Exceptional collection of 27 stereoviews from the series, "Excursion to the 100th Meridian, October 1866." Chicago, [1866]. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [ALASKAN GOLD RUSH]. William Steele West and family, extensive archive of photographs, diaries, correspondence, and personal items. [Ca 19th - 20th century]. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [TAYLOR, Zachary]. Quarter plate daguerreotype featuring the 12th President of the United States. N.p.: n.p., [ca 1845]. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WASHINGTON, George]. Signed Society of the Cincinnati document. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln"), as President. [Washington], 29 September 1862. 1 page, 4to, old creases. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. Autograph letter signed ("Th. Jefferson"), as United States President, to Robert Patterson. Washington DC, 2 July 1805. 1 page, 4to, evenly toned, small tear from seal. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY] -- [ALCOTT, Elizabeth Sewall]. Ninth plate ruby ambrotype attributed to Elizabeth Sewall Alcott. N.p., [ca 1856-1857]. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WESTERN AMERICANA]. RUSSELL, Andrew Joseph, photographer. <i>Salt Lake City, From the Top of the Tabernacle.</i> [1869]
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits :<br>de Cervantès à Houellebecq<br>18 – 25 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Jouve, Paul -- François-Louis Schmied -- Rudyard Kipling. <i>Le Livre de la Jungle,</i> 1919.<br>€ 80,000 to € 120,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Cervantès Saavedra, Miguel de. <i>El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.</i> Bruxelles, 1607.<br>€ 30,000 to € 50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Buren, Daniel - Aimé Césaire. Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. Solstice, 2004. 1/140 ex. Avec 1/20 suites d'œuvres originales.<br>€ 4,000 to € 6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> [Musique] - Gioacchino Traversa. Six sonates à violon seul. [Vers 1770].<br>€ 3,000 to € 5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber, Imitating Norman Rockwell’s “Triple self-portrait,”</i> mixed media, 2002. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Brian Froud, media illustration published in <i>The Land of Froud,</i> 1977. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Haddon Sundblom, <i>All a Girl Needs,</i> oil on canvas, published in <i>The Ladies’ Home Journal,</i> 1942. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Adrianne Lobel, <i>My One and Only,</i> 26 scenic concept collages for the Broadway musical, 1983. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Charles Schulz, original four-panel pen and ink <i>Peanuts</i> comic strip, 1971. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b>Jack Davis, mixed media cartoon for <i>Playboy,</i> 1959. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Charles Addams, mixed media cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1937. $6,000 to $9,000.

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