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Dutch Exploration and other things Dutch

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  • Voyages of the Dutch Brig of War Dourga, Through the Southern and Little-Known Parts of the Moluccan Archipelago, and along the previously unknown southern coast of New Guinea, Performed during the Years 1825 & 1826. – Lieutenant D.H. Kolff – Translated by G. W Earl.

    A first English edition published by James Madden & Co, London 1840.

    A quite unusual copy of an unusual voyages book. Octavo, 365 pages after preliminaries, including author’s introduction and translator’s preface. Ex Dundee Free Library (long defunct) with their occasional stamp. Rebound in an extravagant relevant style with batik covered boards, black cloth spine with separate gilt titled red leather label. Carries the two important maps, one as frontispiece and one double page (attributed to G.W. Earl) after the preface. A little spotting to maps and title, generally very clean inside. A very good copy accepting those limitations.

    Dirk Hendrik Koff (1800-1843) was a high achieving and decorated Dutch naval officer. Joining the navy at 14 first in the West and then the East Indies. At 17 he was fighting pirates in and around Java and soon given the command of a gunboat. By the age of 22 he was promoted to onshore bureaucracy. Sonne tired of that he was given the command of the Douraga in which he would make this exploratory voyage. Hailed a success (the Dutch would annex what is now Iryan Jaya two years later) he received the gold medal by King William II in the Netherlands.

    The translator George Windsor Earl (1813-1865) was active in the region and in particular northern parts of Australia. His rare book on the establishment at Melville Island is a worthy read. He is attributed with coining the term “Indu-nesian”


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  • The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800 – C.R. Boxer

    The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800 – C.R. Boxer

    Published by Hutchinson, London 1n 1965, a first edition. The author Charles Boxer was the Camoens Professor of Portuguese at Kings College, London at the time – he would likely have been the Dutch Professor also .. if they had one.

    Large octavo, 326 pages, illustrated throughout, very good dust jacket, a lightly embossed stamp on title,. A very good copy of a special work now hard to find.

    Not your usual narrative, this book looks at the reasons behind the rise of the Dutch as a, if not the, major seafaring nation from the mid 1600’s for over a century. Peace was signed after an eighty year war with Spain in 1648 and for the Dutch the seagoing expansion was near to phenomenal in terms of speed and ambition. Useful appendices include a chronology 1568-1795 which provides a framework …

    The author Charles Boxer was an incredibly colourful character. Born into a military family (although his mothers family had been early sheep farmers in Tasmania). He enlisted and found himself in Japan in the 1930’s. Then a full blown spy in Hong Kong at the beginning of War II, imprisoned by the Japanese for three years. He married the most beautiful woman in Hong Kong , Ursula Norah Anstice Tulloch but left her for a life with the equally glamourous American writer Emily Hahn. Back in England his depth of knowledge was recognised in receiving the Lisbon sponsored Professorship which he made is own.

    The Dutch … their power at sea and what was behind it …


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  • The Wreck of the Zuytdorp (Western Australia) – Playford

    The Wreck of the Zuytdorp (Western Australia) – Playford

    A reprint in full form of an article published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Western Australian Historical Society in 1959.

    This soft covered printing in 1976, 36 pages, illustrated and with maps and charts.

    A number of Dutch East India ships suffered on the west coast of Australia in their attempts to make Jakarta … more well known the Batavia because of the horrendous going on … others including the Vergulde Draeck; Ridderschap van Holland; Fortuyn; Aagtekerke and Zeewyk get a mention here and the unfortunate Zuytdorp is covered in some detail.

    Wrecked on the cliffs in Gantheaume Bay just slightly south of Ramyards Shed in 1712. Survivors carried 9 heavy breech-blocks of the wreck .. so there must have been a few of them … little else is know of what became of them.

    The Zuttdorp – Western Australia – not an easy place to be wrecked in 1712


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  • Abel Tasman Medal – 350 Years

    Abel Tasman Medal – 350 Years

    Unlike our other example this medal is silent about its purpose. However, it was issued to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the discovery of Tasmania by Abel Tasman. We think also sponsored by the Trust Bank of Tasmania.

    40 mm diameter, 25 gm, intricately engraved, in heavy relief, with an image of Tasman performing some nautical calculations and his vessels on one side with leaf design on reverse.

    Tasman celebrated with a nicely engraved design


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  • Abel Tasman Medal – 350th Anniversary of the Discovering of the West Coast of Tasmania 1642-1992

    Abel Tasman Medal – 350th Anniversary of the Discovering of the West Coast of Tasmania 1642-1992

    An interesting medallion for historians and the cartographically inspired. Produced for the Trust Bank of Tasmania.

    48 mm diameter, 42 gm, intricately engraved on one side with gum leaf design on reverse.

    The intricate design has a map of the central west coast of Tasmania noting Zeehan, Queenstown and Strahan; a nice image of Tasman’s vessel and a compass rose. Narrative details of the sighting 24th November 1642 and the landing at Tasman Bay on the East side on the 3rd of December 1642.

    Tasman – first European sighting commemorated


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  • The Discovery of Australia  – G. Arnold Wood – First Edition 1922

    The Discovery of Australia – G. Arnold Wood – First Edition 1922

    First edition of Arnold Wood’s broad and well researched book about the European discovery of Australia. Published by Macmillan, London in 1922.

    Despite the Cook frontispiece there is much about the pre-Cook era.

    Thick octavo, 541 page well illustrated and with folding map at rear. “Presentation Copy” blind stamp on title which might explain the rather drab blue cloth covered binding, with gilt title to spine which does not appear as a published standard. Binding a trifle rubbed up join, internally clean, still a good to better copy.

    Oxford educated Wood was offered and took up the Chair of History at Sydney University in 1891 and was still there at time of publishing this book.

    The contents commence with Ancient and Medieval conceptions of the Land of the South; the Indian Ocean in the 13thC; the successors of Marco Pol; Portuguese and Spanish; was Australia known in the 16thC; the discovery of the Solomons; the voyage of 1595; Quiros; Torres; the Dutch and Tasman in 1642 and 1644; Dampier and the Roebuck; the Precursors to Cook; the Endeavour Voyage and the discovery of Eastern Australia; Successors to Cook …

    One of our favourite “histories” with much on the early era accompanied by good illustrations many from rare early maps.


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