SCHOUTEN, Willem Corneliszoon (c.1567-1625)
Diarivm vel descriptio laboriosissimi, & molestissimi itineris, facti à Gvilielmo Cornelii Schovtenio, Hornano, annis 1615. 1616. & 1617. Cum à parte Australi freti Magellanici, novum ductum, aut fretum, in Magnum Mare Australe detexit, totumq[ue] Orbem terrarum circumnavigavit. Quas Insulas, & regiones, & populos viderit, & quæ pericula subierit.
Amsterdami : apud Petrum Kærium, 1619. Second Latin edition. Small quarto, contemporary papered boards (rubbed), pp , 1-24, 17-71, nine folding maps and plates; title with large vignette of ships and a city and original owner’s annotation ‘This is in Dutch in ye. long booke pa : 145, [E.?] G.’; as in other copies, pages 14 and 15 misnumbered 4 and 5 (but amended in the original owner’s hand); a fine copy in an unsophisticated contemporary binding, housed in a custom gilt lettered morocco and cloth clam shell box.
The rare second Latin edition of the account of Schouten and Le Maire’s important voyage.
Schouten and Le Maire’s expedition was sponsored by a group of Dutch merchants known as the Australian Company, a consortium in competition with the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The expedition’s primary aim was to search for Terra Australis from the east, and it was the last seventeenth century voyage to do so. In entering the Pacific from the Atlantic in 1616, Schouten and Le Maire sailed to the south of the Straits of Magellan, naming Cape Horn and discovering a new navigable passage to its south. Striking out westward across the Pacific in search of Terra Australis, they sailed through the Tuamotu archipelago, and were the first Europeans to visit the islands of Tonga. The expedition charted a substantial part of the coasts of New Ireland and New Guinea, before eventually reaching Batavia.
The subjects of the maps and plates are: Map of the world in two hemispheres; Map of the South Sea; Plate of Porto Desire or Leeuwen Eylandt; Map of Tierra del Fuego, etc.; Plate of the Indian sailing canoe; Plate of Cocos Eylandt, etc.; Plate of the meeting with the Indian kings; Map of Nova Guinea; Plate of Hoornse Eijlandt Isle de Hoorn.
The first Dutch edition of Schouten’s account was published in 1618. The first Latin edition (Novi Freti, a parte meridionali Freti Magellanici, in Magnum Mare Australe Detectio …) was published in Amsterdam by Jansson in 1619; this edition by Peter Kærius – a translation of the second Dutch edition – appeared in the same year, shortly after Jansson’s.
Both the first and second Latin editions are of great rarity. We can locate fewer than ten copies of the second Latin edition at auction in the last hundred years, and none since 1960.