Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

St. Helena.

  • Translation

Article ID AF0410
Artist Meurs, van (1619/20-1680)
Jacob van Meurs (1619-1680) was a well-known Dutch bookseller, engraver and publisher. The vast majority of books published by Meurs date from 1650 to 1680. At the beginning of his career, Van Meurs published some works on the history of Amsterdam and the Republic. Later in his career, van Meurs achieved some important successes in selling books on China, Japan, Africa and America. Previously, he worked with contemporaries such as Johan Nieuhof (1618-1672), Olfert Dapper (1636-1689) and Arnoldus Montanus (1625-1683). Van Meurs is even considered the leading printer of works across the non-European world for the period 1660-1680. Typical for these large, luxurious editions were the beautiful illustrations of unknown peoples and exotic places. In 1665 van Meurs achieved great success in this genre with the publication of Het Gezantschap by the Neêrlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, a geographical work on China. This book referred to the VOC's first legation before the imperial court in Beijing. The author of this book, world traveler Johan Nieuhof (1618-1672), had himself been involved in this mission and had been in Asia for some time when it was published in the Republic. At that time, the book had a major impact on China's European image. This success confirmed that there was sufficient demand for books that dealt extensively with colonies overseas and other distant locations. Van Meurs liked to respond to this public need and decided to continue focusing on this particular genre. In 1667 he published another work on China, China monumentis, this time by the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680). Exactly a year later, in 1668, a precise description of the African countries was published, a work by Olfert Dapper (1636-1689) on Africa. This was the first attempt to summarize all available information about Africa in a single European language. Frontispiece of Gedenkwaerdige Gesantschappen of the East Indian Maatschappy in 't Vereenigde Nederland (1669) by Arnoldus Montanus, published by Jacob van Meurs. In 1669, Van Meurs published a book about Japan in collaboration with Arnoldus Montanus: commemorative Gesantschappen of the East Indian Maatschappy in 't Vereenigde Nederland. In the meantime, Olfert Dapper was working on a second book on China, descriptions of the Emperor of Taising von Sina, published by Van Meurs in 1670.
Title St. Helena.
Year ca. 1669
Description View of the former founded Jamestown on the island Saint Helena.
Due to its remoteness and cliffs, St. Helena was uninhabited until the 16th century. In 1502 the Portuguese João da Nova landed on the island and named it after Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, as the day it was discovered was her name day. The Portuguese imported fruits and built some houses and a chapel. When they sailed on, they left their sick on the island but did not establish a permanent settlement. The Portuguese kept the island's existence a secret in order to secure its strategic importance. The island's first long-term resident was Fernão Lopes, a Portuguese soldier who had been severely punished by the governor of Goa for treason. On his way back to Portugal in 1516, he left the ship with a stopover on St. Helena and was left alone on the island. He died there around 1546. The first Englishman on the island was Thomas Cavendish, who anchored off St. Helena on 1588 with his ship Desire from the Pacific and stayed for twelve days. He described the island as an "earthly paradise"; from now on it was no longer a secret. James Lancaster arrived on the island in 1591. Around 1600 the Portuguese gave up St. Helena. Immediately afterwards it was occupied by the Dutch. The Dutch occupation lasted until 1651. In 1659 the British East India Company took possession of the island and built the fort (Jamestown) and a garrison. In 1673 the Dutch occupied St. Helena again, but were soon driven out by the English. The company that officially owned the island built large farms on which many blacks and Chinese worked. The wealth of St. Helenas increased, because because of the safe location large amounts of gold were kept and wealthy merchants resided on the island. The island of St. Helena has been a place of exile for heads of state and other personalities, such as Napoleon, the Zulu ruler Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo, the Boer general Piet Cronjé with his soldiers and Chalid ibn Barghasch, who was ruler of the Sultanate of Zanzibar for a few days in 1896 .
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)14,5 x 17,5
ConditionPerfect condition
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


27.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )