Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

St. Helene

  • Translation

Article ID AF096
Artist Dapper/Waasberger (1635-1689)
Olfert Dapper was a Dutch physician and writer. He wrote books about world history and geography, although he never travelled outside the Netherlands. In 1663 wrote a book on the history of Amsterdam. His Description of Africa (1668) is a key text for African studies. His book "is one of the most authoritative 17th century accounts on Africa published in German. Translations appeared in English, French, and German. Dapper never traveled to Africa but used reports by Jesuit missionaries and other (Dutch) explorers. Within a few years he published about China, India, Persia, Georgia, and Arabia. His books became well known in his own time. The fine plates include views of Algiers, Benin, Cairo, Cape Town, La Valetta, Marrakech, St. Helena, Tangier, Tripoli, Tunis, as well as, animals and plants.
Title St. Helene
Year ca. 1686
Description Map shows the island Saint Helena as bird´s eye view.
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 .
Dimensions (cm)26 x 31
ConditionSome restoration at centerfold
TechniqueCopper print


30.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )