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De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part V, Plate 14, How the King of Ternate Presents Himself in Public. From the "Little Voyages"

De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part V, Plate 14, How the King of Ternate Presents Himself in Public. From the "Little Voyages"

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De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part V, Plate 14, How the King of Ternate Presents Himself in Public. From the "Little Voyages"


Plate XIV, Wie der KoUnig zu Ternate vber die Gassen gehet
From Part V of Johann Theodor de Bry (1561-1623) and Johann Isreal de Bry's (1565-1609) Orientalische Indien (“Little Voyages”), Funffter Theil der Orientalischen Indien...Frankfurt: 1601
Engraving with original, early 17th century hand color heightened with gold on laid paper; paper dimensions: approximately: 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
Printed by Matthias Becker
van Groesen 63


Van Warwijck put in at Ambon and Ternate in 1599, while his colleague Jacob van Heemskerck sailed to Banda.

The print shows the procession of the king of Ternate and his court on the way to the mosque, or mesquita, as the house of prayer is described in the travel journal of the trip to Ternate. On the right we see the mosque, a small rectangular building with a pagoda roof consisting of three parts. The person leading the procession is a man with a goat, due to be scarified at the mosque. He is followed by a group of warriors and then a man with a thurible. Then we see the sultan, with a servant behind him holding a parasol above his head, and a standard bearer. In front of the mosque we see a pot filled with water where the mosque-goers perform their ritual washing.*

Title: How the king of Ternate presents himself in public

Text: The king of Ternate is how history tells us a fat short stout man with a fat head he is very powerful has almost 70 islands under his regime if this king wants to go somewhere primarily to go to the temple a boy walks in front of him a sword on his shoulder and in the other hand a goat following by several of his body guards, behind them walks somebody that carries a seraphim box and then comes the king and somebody carrying an umbrella over his head followed by the rest of his bodyguards flying flags and in this magnificence he proceeds his way to the church to attend the mass.**


Documenting the East Indian Journey led by Admiral Jacob Cornelius van Neck (1598), featuring Depictions of: Mauritius, Tuban, Banda, Ternate, Molluccas, Banda, and Gammalamme

The very first Dutch voyage to the East Indies took place in 1595 and was led by the brothers Frederik and Cornelis de Houtman. The second expedition followed in 1598, led by Admiral Jacob Cornelius van Neck. Eight ships left Amsterdam on this journey.

One of these ships was captained by Jacob van Heemskerck, who earlier had participated in the arctic expedition led by Willem Barents in 1595- 1597, an ill-fated journey that ended with the famous overwintering in Novaya Zemlya. In addition to Heemskerck there was a third lead- ing figure on this trip, Vice Admiral Wijbrand van Warwijck.

The eight ships departed in the direction of southern Africa. After the Cape of Good Hope, half the fleet put in at Madagascar, the other half went to Mauritius. The admiral met up with the other captains in Bantam (on the northern point of Java).

After loading the ships with a great quantity of spices there, Van Neck sent vice admirals Van Heemskerck and Van Warwijck on to the Maluku Islands (formerly known as the Moluccas, or Spice Islands). He himself started the return journey. After 14 months, on 19 July 1599, Van Neck returned to the  Netherlands with a rich cargo: 600,000 pounds of pepper, 250,000 pounds of cloves, 20,000 pounds of nutmeg and 200 pounds of mace.

When Van Neck distributed the profits among the expedition's shareholders, Van Warwijck and Van Heemskerck were already far along in their journey. They first put in at the Javan city of Tuban, where they bought food and visited the palace of the local king. They continued on to Ambon, where they arrived in 1599. A few trading posts were opened on the Maluku island of Ambon for the purchase of cloves. Commerce also took place on Banda, part of the southern Maluku Islands and at the time the only island in the world where nutmeg grew.

De Bry's prints are illustrations to the original travel accounts of Van Neck and Warwijck and were probably drawn in the Netherlands after the expedition's return, on the basis of sketches that made by the crew.*

*Research provided by Martine Gosselink, head of the History department at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands.

**Translated from original German by Karl Nesseler.

Description compiled by Erik Brockett who is pleased to provide additional information relating to this or other examples of the work of Johann Theodor de Bry available at Arader Galleries. He can be contacted at

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