Eine kurze Ost-Indianische Reiss-Beschreibung...
... Darinnen Vieler Ost-Indianischen Insulen und Landtschafften Gelegenheit ... sonder der Chinesischen Belägerung und Eroberun der Unsul Formosa angemerckt ... Beschrieben und in einer neunjährigen Reiss verrichtet.
Bern, Georg Sonnleitner, 1669
(Landwehr, VOC, # 310; Cordier, Bibl. Japonica
Small 8vo. Contemporary vellum.
With engraved title and 9 folding engraved plates.
10 nn lvs; 242 pp; 3 nn lvs (complete).
Frontispiece remargined, not affecting the plate. A small hole in one leaf (M1) with loss of two letters; small hole in one plate (circa 4 mm). Else, fine and in its original state.
First edition of one of the important books on the Dutch East Indies, written by a foreign (Swiss) participant in the events.
The Swiss Herport was trained as an artist, he is listed as landscape painter from Bern, born 1641, died 1680. Instead of pursuing an artistic career he enrolled for military service and left Holland for Batavia in the sprint of 1659. He was a member of Johan van der Laans company which was sent to Formosa and Macao. Herport was an eyewitness to the loss of Formosa to the Chinese emperor Cheng Cheng Kung or Coxinga. He served under Rijckloff van Goens on the Malabar coast and arrived in Ceylon at the end of 1662. There he remained for the next four years, leaving the island only for short expeditions to the coast of India. He returned to Amsterdam via Batavia in 1668. The plates in this book are of better quality than usual, several were made from Herports own sketches. They show a fine view of the Cape, Batavia, Formosa (Fort Zeelandia), Ceylon, Cochin, etc. -
Fine copy of a very rare and important book, just a few copies are known.