London, South Kensington
24 September 2008
VAN KEULEN II, Johannes (1704-1755). De Mossel Baay. Amsterdam: 1753. Engraved Dutch map of Mossel Bay in South Africa, latitude scale, compass rose, printed on laid paper (waterstain at upper left corner not affecting map), 535 x 320mm.
EXTREMELY RARE MAP FROM THE SECRET ATLAS OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY used to navigate trade routes in Asia and Africa. These maps were distributed only within the company and never sold. Merchants were required to return the maps after each journey in order to keep trade routes secret. Until van Keulen II printed the Atlas in 1753, the Dutch East India Company used costly manuscript versions prone to errors. Johannes II was appointed official mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company in 1743, a title his family held until the company's dissolution in 1799. The family was most renowned for publishing the Nieuwe Lichtende Zee-Fakkel ('New Shining Sea Torch'), a seminal six-volume maritime atlas begun by Johannes van Keulen I in 1681 and completed by his grandson, Johannes II, in 1755. This map of Mossel Bay near Cape Town, South Africa, appeared in the sixth volume.
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