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.
CARTE DES ISLES DE LA SONDE, ET DES ISLES MOLUQUES.
French map of South-east Asia and the Indonesian Archipelago originally published in Paris in 1773. The map has arrows indicating the prevailing winds (monsoons) in the region during the different months of the year, with the north-west monsoon blowing between October and April and the north-east monsoon between May and September. In the south-west corner of the map is an inset of the clove-producing North Molucca Islands.