Plate III, Turnier vnd Rennspiel deren zu Tuban
From Part V of Johann Theodor de Bry (1561-1623) and Johann Isreal de Bry's (1565-1609) Orientalische Indien (“Little Voyages”), Funffter Theil der Orientalischen Indien...Frankfurt: 1601
Engraving with original, early 17th century hand color heightened with gold on laid paper; paper dimensions: approximately: 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
Printed by Matthias Becker
van Groesen 63
A TOURNAMENT IN TUBAN, EASTERN JAVA
Near the letter B we see the Dutch crew cheering on the knights participating in the tournament. The spectacle on horseback is taking place at a large fenced in area in the royal town of Tuban, on the east coast of the island of Java.
The fleet only consists of four ships during this part of the journey. The other ships left Bantam to return to the Netherlands, where they were greeted by the Heeren XVII [the 17 directors] of the VOC. These had traveled from Amsterdam to the Roads of Texel to welcome the returning ships. Letters and lavish gifts from the ruler of Bantam were received. The Dutch who continued the journey to the Maluku Islands made a number of stops along the way, like this one in Tuban.
Title: Tournament and race of those from Tuban
Text: When they arrived with several boats in the city Tuban on the 23rd of January in 1599 they found great gatherings of the citizens in all the streets with everyone wearing their most beautiful armor including many aristocrats on horses which gather in the evening on the marketplace to honor and please the Dutch traders they held a tournament and race so that the Dutch can see how they can handle horses which is all narrated and described in history.
ENGRAVED PLATES FROM VOLUME V OF DE BRY’S ‘LITTLE VOYAGES’ OF THE EAST INDIES
Documenting the East Indian Journey led by Admiral Jacob Cornelius van Neck (1598), featuring Depictions of: Mauritius, Tuban, Banda, Ternate, Molluccas, Banda, and Gammalamme
The very first Dutch voyage to the East Indies took place in 1595 and was led by the brothers Frederik and Cornelis de Houtman. The second expedition followed in 1598, led by Admiral Jacob Cornelius van Neck. Eight ships left Amsterdam on this journey.
One of these ships was captained by Jacob van Heemskerck, who earlier had participated in the arctic expedition led by Willem Barents in 1595- 1597, an ill-fated journey that ended with the famous overwintering in Novaya Zemlya. In addition to Heemskerck there was a third lead- ing figure on this trip, Vice Admiral Wijbrand van Warwijck.
The eight ships departed in the direction of southern Africa. After the Cape of Good Hope, half the fleet put in at Madagascar, the other half went to Mauritius. The admiral met up with the other captains in Bantam (on the northern point of Java).
After loading the ships with a great quantity of spices there, Van Neck sent vice admirals Van Heemskerck and Van Warwijck on to the Maluku Islands (formerly known as the Moluccas, or Spice Islands). He himself started the return journey. After 14 months, on 19 July 1599, Van Neck returned to the Netherlands with a rich cargo: 600,000 pounds of pepper, 250,000 pounds of cloves, 20,000 pounds of nutmeg and 200 pounds of mace.
When Van Neck distributed the profits among the expedition's shareholders, Van Warwijck and Van Heemskerck were already far along in their journey. They first put in at the Javan city of Tuban, where they bought food and visited the palace of the local king. They continued on to Ambon, where they arrived in 1599. A few trading posts were opened on the Maluku island of Ambon for the purchase of cloves. Commerce also took place on Banda, part of the southern Maluku Islands and at the time the only island in the world where nutmeg grew.
De Bry's prints are illustrations to the original travel accounts of Van Neck and Warwijck and were probably drawn in the Netherlands after the expedition's return, on the basis of sketches that made by the crew.*
*Research provided by Martine Gosselink, head of the History department at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands.
**Translated from original German by Karl Nesseler.
Description compiled by Erik Brockett who is pleased to provide additional information relating to this or other examples of the work of Johann Theodor de Bry available at Arader Galleries. He can be contacted at email@example.com