Riding the wave


The trip to China by Jan Nieuhoff

Often, as already mentioned, the water-works maps were based on descriptions of travelers and merchants. One example is little known, but the full story and beautiful illustrations, the guide to the Dutch embassy in the Far East prepared by Jan Nieuhoff in 1665, and translated into French under the title ambassade de la Compagnie Orientale des Provinces Unies vers l'Empereur de la Chine, ou Grand Can de Tartars faite par ... Pierre de Goyer et Jacob de Keyser ... Receuillis par le tout ... Jan Nieuhoff ... mis en françois ... Jean Le Carpentier par.

The work is enriched by 35 views, a map and several figures, including a portrait of Jean Baptiste Colbert, who the French edition is dedicated.

The author accompanied the Dutch delegation to the Emperor of China to establish trade relations with the duty to report to the Dutch East India Company the result, however disappointing the initiative.

The minutes of the journey instead got wide public success and had several translations, probably because of the abundance of information about customs of that country.

China. Nieuhoff Jan, 1665
The city and the castle of Batavia.
(Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense )

Despite the recruitment of hydrographic by the Dutch Navy in 1787 - through the establishment of a special Commissie - the publication and sale of nautical charts and pilot books were the prerogative of the van Keulen until 1848, when the Ministry Navy, through its service catchment area, began selling direct but not exclusive, still persists distribution to the public by accredited resellers.

The maps are reproduced in Coasts of the World in European cartography :1500-1900 , (179 p., about 300 images), by Priuli & Verlucca, publishers , Ivrea, 2000.)

Utrecht Research Program in the History of Cartography : a glossary of atlases and pilot books published in Holland until the end of the nineteenth century, variously located in the world