Late 16th century map of Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the southern part of the Malay peninsula. Shown are the four ships of the Dutch Pioneering Voyage to the East Indies, sailing north of Java back to the Sunda Strait after circumnavigating Madura Island in 1596.
The last decade of the 16th century heralded the emergence of the Dutch as the colonial power that was to supersede Portugal as the premier trading nation in Asia and establish a tyrannical hold on the East Indian Islands and the trade therefrom for the next 350 years. This period of Dutch dominance, begun with the exploratory voyage of Cornelius de Houtman to Bantam, a northwestern port in Java, shown on this fantastic map.
The Universalis Cosmographia (“Universal Cosmography”) is a German wall map of the world originally published in the year 1507. It is known as the first map to use the name “America”. The map is drafted on a modification of Ptolemy’s second projection, expanded to accommodate the Americas and the high latitudes. Of the original only a single copy of the map survives, presently housed at the Library of Congress in Washington.