De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part V, Plate 16, Ships of Those from Banda and Ternate. From the "Little Voyages"

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De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part V, Plate 16, Ships of Those from Banda and Ternate. From the "Little Voyages"


Plate XVI, Schiff deren von Banda vnd Ternate.
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.

This print shows vessels that originate from these parts. On the left is the cora cora of the king, near the letter A. This Bandanese ship is propelled by large numbers of rowing men, others on board bang on drums and cymbals. The travel account describes them as a frenzied mob. The ship at the top right is a warship from Madura, the island east of Java. The spears of the crew can be clearly identified. At the right bottom we see the cora cora of the king of Ternate.*

Title: Ships of those from Banda and Ternate

Text: Those galleys from the island Banda called by the inhabitants Carocolla and marked with A are necessary for the war against their enemies because they know how to row very fast with those while they are built with thin siding and are very light they are not dabbed with pitch like ours but the joints stuffed with hemp from the Indian nuts and then greased with chalk and another material combined so that water cannot cause any damage. B. is the king of Ternate's, Karkol, with an extension built onto both sides lying almost flat on the water on which the slaves and servants are sitting and rowing at all times. Above on this Karkol are sitting several which are playing on drums and other instruments. There are also 7 great cannons on top surrounded by several long spears on the back of this Karkol is a nice bed/ beautifully decorated and gilded/ on which the king's harness hangs velvet lined this bed was covered with a beautiful blanket on which the king lays down and also sits and has somebody next to him at all times who is fanning him with a fan.**


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