Amsterdam: 1726. Uncolored engraving. Image measures 11.5" x 29.25"
This lovely panorama depicts the island of Ambon, part of the Moluccas in Indonesia. Various European vessels fill the expanse of water in front of the mountainous island, on which canoes, small buildings, and trees can be seen. Like the other Maluku islands, historically known as the "Spice Islands," Amboina was valued in the 18th century for nutmeg, cloves, and other spices. In addition, the island was particularly valued for Ambonia wood, which was obtained from local trees and used for ornamental woodwork. This print is in good condition, with some stains around the folds, scattered foxing, and browning at the margins. Françcois Valentijn (1666-1727) was a Dutch minister, naturalist and author known best for his "Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indië." This history of the Dutch East India Company and the countries of the Far East remains an important primary source for the East Indies and surrounding lands. Valentijn worked at Amboina from 1684 to 1694 and 1705 to 1713 and traveled widely among the Dutch East India Company's holdings.