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[From the Cape of Good Hope to the Sunda Strait] [cartographic material] / [attributed to cartographer Isaac de Graaf]
Bib ID 4601302
Format MapMap, OnlineOnline
Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie
Online Versions
Scale Scale [ca. 1:10,000,000] (E 15°00'--E 120°00'/N 21°00'--S 44°00') 
Description [1735] 
1 ms. map : col. ; 71 x 94 cm., mounted in frame 93.5 x 117.5 cm. 

All VOC ships voyaging to the Far East were required to follow a prescribed route, sailing south from the Cape of Good Hope until they encountered the strong westerly trade winds between the 35th and 40th southern parallels. The ships were then to sail due east until they reached the Isle Amsterdam before turning northward. This became known as the Brouwer Route, devised by the Dutch sea explorer Hendrik Brouwer in 1611 and found to halve the duration of the journey from Europe to Java compared to the previous route which had involved following the coast of East Africa northwards through the Mozambique Channel then across the Indian Ocean sometimes via India. By 1616 the Brouwer Route was compulsory for Dutch sailors bound for Java.

Isaac de Graaff (1667 - 5 September 1743). Famous for his work, Isaak de Graaf, the Dutch cartographer was one of the greatest map makers of his time. Since his father Abraham de Graaf was also a renowned cartographer, Isaak de Graaf had the privilege of learning about maps from an early age. Isaak de Graaf was born to Susanna Pietersz Eppingh and Abraham de Graaf in the year 1668. He started his career as a clerk cum cartographer in the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch East India Company. Soon he was appointed the supervisor of the Atlas Amsterdam. As a reward for his excellent work, the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) or the East India Company deputed him as the official cartographer in the early 18th century. Isaak de Graaf compiled 187 maps in his two volumes of the manuscript atlas. The maps depicted the territorial possessions and settlements of the East India Company in the continents of Africa and Asia. The maps were designed to be used by the Board of Directors of the company. The maps from this atlas were recompiled in the Atlas Isaak de Graaf/Atlas Amsterdam by Professor Gu?nter Schilder in the later half of the 20th century. Isaak de Graaf married Saderina de Brauw and served the Dutch East India Company till his death in 1743.

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indian Company") was a chartered company established in 1602 and operated until 1796.


Manuscript sea chart on vellum in excellent condition, hand coloured and produced by the VOC. The chart was part of the navigational kit issued to ships voyaging between the Netherlands and its East Indian colonies. To the far west is shown the outline of the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa, further east lies the southern tip of Madagascar, with islands of Mauritius and Reunion Island. The map is centred on the Isle Saint Brandon with Rodriges Island nearby. To the east outlined in green the island of Sumatra is shown with Java off its southern point, but the Sunda Straits, located between the southern coast of Sumatra and western coast of adjacent Java, are not marked. In the southeast corner is a clear but rudimentary outline of the coast of central and southern Western Australia. The map displays a compass rose pointing north. However, it must be noted that the map is not to scale, partly because at this time navigators were unable to calculate & record accurately the meridians of longitude.

This map displays some topographic detail of Western Australia that was first recorded on the 1627 Dutch map entitled "Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht" [Chart of Eendracht Land, i.e. the term the Dutch used for Australia until 1700] produced by cartographer Hessel Gerritsz. These identified features became a standard for later Dutch maps that included Western Australia: - Willems Rivier [speculatively assumed to be the Ashburton River near the north West Cape and discovered by the ship Mauritius in 1618]; Dirk Hartoghs Reede [i.e. Dirk Hartog's anchorage, discovered in 1616]; Houtmans Abrolhos [i.e. the archipelago discovered by Frederick de Houtman in 1619 and now known as the Houtman Abrolhos], Tortelduif [now known as Turtle Dove Shoal, discovered by the ship Tortelduif which later arrived at Batavia on June 21, 1624; I. de Edels Landt [i.e. Jacob de Edels Land, and later anglicised Jacob Dedel, who was supercargo officer aboard the ship Amsterdam captained by Maarten Corneliszoon and led by Frederick de Houtman aboard the lead ship Dordrecht in 1619], and t'Landt van de Leeuwin [i.e. Land made by the ship Leeuwin in March 1622. This area is thought to represent the coast between present-day Hamelin Bay and Point D'Entrecasteaux, which encompasses Cape Leeuwin]. The small crosses offshore are almost certainly reefs, that were a hazard for the Dutch and other ships that got too close to the Western Australian coast. Note also the Tryal Rocks off the northwest coast of Australia, recognised as a hazard since the Engish ship Trial had shipwrecked there in June 1622.

Title proper devised by the Map Curator.

Original seller's catalogue issued as: A list of separately published maps and charts, including a journey to the East Indies : an important set of five manuscript charts of the Dutch East India Company with an introduction by Gunter Schilder. Amsterdam : Nico Israel, 1989.

Also available online

Source of Acquisition Loan From the collection of Mr Kerry Stokes, AC. 
Cited In

Schilder, Gunter. Australia unveiled.

Subjects Nederlandsche Oost-Indische Compagnie -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.  |  Nautical charts -- Indian Ocean -- Early works to 1800.  |  Nautical charts -- East Indies -- Early works to 1800.  |  Indian Ocean -- Historical geography -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.  |  Western Australia -- Historical geography -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.  |  East Indies -- Historical geography -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.
Form/genre Outline maps.
Other authors/contributors Graaff, Isaac de, 1667-1743
Also Titled

Title from original seller's catalogue: Map "D"

VOC chart

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Details Collect From
MAP RM 4333 Pictures Screen 108
Copy: Map on loan from Mr Kerry Stokes, AC.
Special Collections Reading Room
(Temporarily shelved at Not Available - On Exhibition)

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Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.