1617 Schouten Antique Print of Unity Bay, South Seas Island of Futuna, Wallis

Publisher : Willem Cornelis Schouten

  • Title  : Hoornse Eijlandt - Isle de Hoorn
  • Date  : 1617
  • Ref # : 42000
  • Size  : 10in x 7 1/2in (260mm x 190mm)
  • Condition: B+ (Very Good)


This fine, somewhat scarce, original hand coloured antique print a view of a natural harbour, on the sw coast of the South Seas island of Futuna (Hoorn) which they called after the ship the Eendrachts baai (Unity bay) was published in the 1617 French edition of Willem Cornelis Schouten book of exploration of the South Seas published by Aris Classen "Scheeps-Journal en Beschrijving van de bewonderensvaardige Reis gemaakt door Willem Cornelis Schouten, geboren te Hoorn, toen hy heeft outdekt ten Zuiden van de zee-engte van Magellan een nieuwe doorgang in de groote Zuidzee" (Ship-Journal and description of the bewonderensvaardige Trip created by Willem Cornelis Schouten, born in Hoorn, when hy has outdekt South of the Strait of Magellan a new passage in the great South Sea) Schouten, Willem Cornelis Dutch navigator, b. in Hoorn in 1567; d. in Antongil bay, Madagascar, in 1625. He had been for years in the employ of the Dutch East India company, when he quarrelled with one of the directors and resigned in 1610. From that time he resolved to find a new route to the Indies, eluding the charter of the East India company. He interested in his scheme Hoorn's richest citizen, Isaac Lemaire, and they formed a company with a capital of 200,000 florins, one half being furnished by Isaac Lemaire and an eighth by Schouten. The expedition left the Texel, 14 June, 1615, Schouten being the commander, and a son of Isaac, James Lemaire, acting as his deputy and director-general. The details of the discoveries are to be found in the article Lemaire, James. The navigators were arrested in Batavia by George Spielbergen for infringing upon the privileges of the East India company, but, on Schouten's arrival in Holland, he secured an acquittal, and even compelled the company to pay him heavy damages. He resumed the exercise of his profession, and was returning to Europe after a successful voyage to the Indies, when stress of weather forced him to enter the Bay of Antongil, and he died there. A narrative of Schouten's expedition was written by Aris Classen, the clerk of the admiral, and published under the title “Scheeps-Journal en Beschrijving van de bewonderensvaardige Reis gemaakt door Willem Cornelis Schouten, geboren te Hoorn, toen hy heeft outdekt ten Zuiden van de zee-engte van Magellan een nieuwe doorgang in de groote Zuidzee” (Amsterdam, 1617). It was translated into French (Amsterdam, 1617), into German (Arnheim, 1618), and into Latin (Amsterdam, 1619). The name of Schouten has been given to an island that he discovered on the northern coast of New Guinea. Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands is a French island collectivity in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east, the New Zealand territory of Tokelau to the northeast and to a more distant north the Phoenix Islands (Kiribati). Wallis and Futuna is not part of French Polynesia, nor even contiguous with it, as the former are located at the very opposite western end of Polynesia. Futuna and Alofi were put on the European maps by Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire during their famous circumnavigation of the globe with the ship the Eendracht in 1616. After having come from Niuafo ou, they suddenly changed their course from west to northwest and so stumbled on this island pair. They called it Hoorn Eylanden, after the city of Hoorn, Schouten's birthplace, which became Horne in both French and English. Wise from their earlier experiences, they started with a show of force to the natives who approached them, which resulted in a peaceful barter with coconuts, yams and hogs from one side and iron nails, beads and knives from the other. They found a beautiful bay, a natural harbour along the southwest coast of Futuna, which they called after the ship the Eendrachts baai (Unity bay). This must be the Anse de Sigave near Leava of today. They went ashore on to get water and met the king, who told his subjects that their guests were not to be disturbed by petty thieving. In this amiable way the Dutch were able to replenish their stocks. A few days later the king of the other island, Alofi, came to visit with 300 men. The two kings were extremely courteous to each other, and a big feast was prepared. A kava ceremony and ʻumu were organised. Schouten and LeMaire were probably the first Europeans ever to witness these, and the description they gave still rings familiar tones nowadays. Not having been bothered by thieving and hostilities, Schouten and LeMaire had the opportunity to study Futuna a little bit more carefully than the Niua islands. (They did not go to Alofi). But their description of the islanders is not flattering. Although they praise the men for being well proportioned, the women they found ugly, ill-shaped with breasts hanging down to their bellies as empty satchels. They all went naked and copulated in public, even in front of their revered king. (Ref: M&B; Tooley)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: -  Early
Colors used: -  Green, brown, blue
General color appearance: -  Light
Paper size: - 10in x 7 1/2in (260mm x 190mm)
Image Size: - 8 1/2in x 6in (220mm x 145mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - Backed onto contemporary heavy rag paper