VAN NECK, Jacob Cornelisz (1564-1638). [Le second livre], Iournal ou comptoir. Amsterdam: Coneille Nicolas, 1601.

$ 24,000.00

VAN NECK, Jacob Cornelisz (1564-1638). [Le second livre], Iournal ou comptoir, contenant le vray discours et narration historique, du voigae faict par les huict navires d'Amsterdam, au mois de mars l'an 1598 soubs la conduitte de l'Admiral Iaques Corneille Necq, & du Vice-Admiral VVibrant de VVarwicq. de leur voigae, & choses plus memorables, eux audit voiage sur venues, de leur riche charge, & sain retour. Amsterdam: Corneille Nicolas, sur l'eaue au Diare. Pour Bonaventure Dacivelle Libraire a Calais, l'An 1601.


Appendice. Vocabulaire des mots Iavans et Malayts, qu'avons mesmes escripts a Ternati, servant de promptuaire a ceux qui y desirent navgier, car la langue Malayte s'use par toutes les Indes Orientales, principalement es Molucques ... Imprimé chez Corneille Nicolas ..., 1601.

2 parts in one volume (13 x 9 2/8 inches). 2 vignette title-pages illustrated with the same large engraving including an elephant, that for the Appendice with the "No. 19" additionally engraved in the image, large vignettes in the text, including maps of Mauritius, the harbour at Arosbaya, the island of Ambon, Banda, Ternate, Gamalama, the famous scene which includes the first image of a Dodo, 16 further large vignettes, and 2 wood-cuts of nutmeg and cloves in the text (part of the top margin of the title-page excised removing 'Le second livre', some loss to the margin of folio 3, not affecting the image, one or two pale marginal stains). Modern half vellum, marbled paper boards.

First French edition, of the account of the second Dutch Voyage to the East Indies, first published as "Journael ofte dagh-register ...", in Amsterdam : Cornelis Claesz ..., [1600], with five fewer plates and without the two woodcuts, and also published in this expanded format under the title "Het tweede boeck, Journael ofte dagh-register ..." Amsterdam : Cornelis Claesz ..., 1601. EXCEPTIONALLY RARE, no copy has sold at auction since 1980, and no example of either Dutch edition has appeared at auction in the last forty years that this cataloguer can find.

Published only two years before the establishment of the Dutch East India Company, it is a curious mixture of "travel narrative and trade investment brochure" (National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, online).

When Cornelis de Houtman returned home to the Netherlands in mid-January of 1597 after a successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean and back, the effect was dramatic and world changing, resulting in the opening of the spice rich East Indies to the Dutch spirit of enterprise, and the filling of Dutch coffers. New fleets destined for the East Indies were immediately equipped. "The most important of these was the squadron consisting of eight ships under the command of Admiral Jacob Cornelisz van Neck and Vice-Admiral Wijbrant van Warwijck...[the] fleet departed the roadstead of Texel on 1 May 1598. The voyage to the Cape of Good Hope was without incident. At the beginning of August, the ships were caught in a heavy storm, which resulted in the separation of vice-Admiral Van Warwijck, with five ships, from Admiral Van Neck; Van Warwijck continued the trip to Bantam independently. He undertook a further exploration of the island of Do Cirne, an uninhabited island that had already been discovered by the Portuguese and which was named Mauritius by the Dutch [in honour of Maurice van Nassau, Prince of Orange]. The fleet was finally reunited in Bantam. Commercially, Van Neck had more success than his predecessor. After he succeeded in purchasing enough spices to fill four ships, he returned to Holland while Van Warwijck sailed to the Moluccas with the remaining ships. Van Neck arrived in Holland as early as the middle of July 1599 after being away for only fifteen months in total" (Gunter Schilder & Hans Kok "Sailing for the East", page 17).

Besides being a great commercial success, Van Neck and Van Warwijck's was the first Dutch voyage to reach the Banda Islands, at the time the global source of nutmeg, van Warwicjk's ws the first to discover Mauritius, revealing the island to be inhabited by a "great multitude of tortoises of incredible size" (folio 2 verso), and also discovering the Dodo (folio 3 verso), which is described in print and illustrated for the first time here.

Published only two years before the establishment of the Dutch East India Company, Van Neck's "Journal..." is a "curious mixture of travel narrative and trade investment brochure. The journal is written in the first person, although the authorship of the text isn't directly attributed. It begins with brief entries detailing the weather and course taken, but by the time foreign lands are reached, the narrative gets more interesting, with descriptions of local people, flora and fauna and the 'wonderful plenty of fish' that was caught...The first engraving is a map showing 'the Island of Cerne, otherwise called Mauritius'. A key describes main points of interest such as: A) the entrance to the island ; C) rocks lying under the water, indicated by crosses, and E) two rivers, where they caught much fish..". (National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, online).

The second engraving is probably the most famous, for including the first published image of the much loved and now extinct Dodo. The sailor's of this first voyage, and of subsequent ones, found the bird most interesting as food: flightless, and therefore easy to catch, and clearly very tasty.

The fourth engraving "illustrates an attempt to rescue some crew who had been taken prisoner when they approached a town on Madura to trade for victuals. The attempt was unsuccessful and 25 men were killed. After much negotiating the prisoners were eventually ransomed. The twelfth engraving shows some islanders playing football, and is part of a series of illustrations focusing on the island of Banda, where the Dutch spent a lot of time establishing trade contacts. Banda is described in great detail in the journal, as the site of an important regional market:

Among all the islandes of Moluccas, this island yeeldeth the greatest quantities of nutmegges, insomuch that the people of Laua, Malacca, China, and many other neighbouring islandes, doe heere ... exercise large trade in buying and selling, bringing hyther their goodes and marchandizes from all places. (Text taken from English translation, available at the British Library.)

"Such descriptions of commodities and the prices paid for them feature frequently in the journal, and would have been of great interest to prospective investors in the East Indies trade. Accounts of these voyages were circulated soon after the ships returned, by publishers who knew the value of this information to merchants and traders.

"In this respect the journal of the second voyage was no exception. It was published in 1600 by Cornelis Claesz, an Amsterdam-based printer who focused exclusively on supplying the maritime market with maps, charts and travel journals like this one. It was translated into English for sale in London the next year [without illustrations], and dedicated to one Thomas Smith: 'Sheriffe of the honorable Citie of London, and Governor of the English Marchants trading to the East Indies'" (National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, online).

The Appendice, with its own title-page, includes a vocabulary of Malay and Javanese words, and is one of the first ever printed.  Only five examples of this French edition found in libraries worldwide, only 2 examples of the first Dutch edition, and only two of the second (that at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich is incomplete), found in libraries worldwide. Tiele, P.A. Journaux navigatuers, 126. Catalogued by Kate Hunter