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Description: An exceptional hand coloured original antique page of Abraham Chatelain's 1719 striking view of the Cape of Good Hope, with Dutch ships in the harbour and Table Mountain in the background. Separating the two views is an engraved descriptive text which refers mainly to the Company’s gardens, ‘the most beautiful and curious to be seen in a country that is sterile and frightful.’The lower engraving shows the Dutch fort at the Cape and an observatory established by the Frenchman Tachard and the Jesuit Fathers to observe the southern skies.
Background: The first Europeans to discover the Cape were the Portuguese, with Bartholomeu Dias arriving in 1488 after journeying south along the west coast of Africa. The next recorded European sighting of the Cape was by Vasco da Gama in 1497 while he was searching for a route that would lead directly from Europe to Asia. Table Mountain was given its name in 1503 by António de Saldanha, a Portuguese admiral and explorer. He called it Taboa da caba ("table of the cape"). The name given to the mountain by the Khoi inhabitants was Hoeri 'kwaggo ("sea mountain") The area fell out of regular contact with Europeans until 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or simply VOC) were sent to the Cape to establish a halfway station to provide fresh water, vegetables, and meat for passing ships travelling to and from Asia. Van Riebeeck's party of three vessels landed at the cape on 6 April 1652. The group quickly erected shelters and laid out vegetable gardens and orchards, and are preserved in the Company Gardens. Water from the Fresh River, which descended from Table Mountain, was channelled into canals to provide irrigation. The settlers bartered with the native Khoisan for their sheep and cattle. Forests in Hout Bay and the southern and eastern flanks of Table Mountain provided timber for ships and houses. At this point, the VOC had a monopoly on trade and prohibited any private trade. The Dutch gave their own names to the native inhabitants that they encountered, calling the pastoralists "Hottentots," those that lived on the coast and subsisted on shellfishing," and those who were hunter-gatherers were named "Bushmen." The first wave of Asian immigration to South Africa started in 1654. These first immigrants were banished to the Cape by the Dutch Batavian High Court. These Asians helped to form the foundation of the Cape Coloured and Cape Malay populations, as well as bringing Islam to the Cape. The first large territorial expansion occurred in 1657, when farms were granted by the VOC to a few servants in an attempt to increase food production. These farms were situated along the Liesbeeck River and the VOC still retained financial control of them. The first slaves were brought to the Cape from Java and Madagascar in the following year to work on the farms. The first of a long series of border conflicts between the inhabitants in the European-controlled area and native inhabitants began in 1658 when settlers clashed with the Khoi, who realised that they were losing territory. Work on the Castle of Good Hope, the first permanent European fortification in the area, began in 1666. The new castle replaced the previous wooden fort that Van Riebeeck and his men built. Finally completed in 1679, the castle is the oldest building in South Africa. Simon van der Stel, after whom the town of Stellenbosch is named, arrived in 1679 to replace Van Riebeeck as governor. Van der Stel founded the Cape wine industry by bringing grape vines with him on his ship, an industry which would quickly grow to be important for the region. He also promoted territorial expansion in the Colony. The first non-Dutch immigrants to the Cape, the Huguenots, arrived in 1688. The Huguenots had fled from anti-Protestant persecution in Catholic France to the Netherlands, where the VOC offered them free passage to the Cape as well as farmland. The Huguenots brought important experience in wine production to the Cape, greatly bolstering the industry, as well as providing strong cultural roots. By 1754, the population of the settlement on the Cape had reached 5,510 Europeans and 6,729 slaves. But by 1780, France and Great Britain went to war against each other. The Netherlands entered the war on the French side, and thus a small garrison of French troops were sent to the Cape to protect it against the British. These troops, however, left by 1784. By 1795, however, the Netherlands was invaded by France and the VOC was in complete financial ruin. The Prince of Orange fled to England for protection, which allowed for the establishment of the Dutch Batavian Republic. Due to the long time it took to send and receive news from Europe, the Cape Commissioner of the time knew only that the French had been taking territory in the Netherlands and that the Dutch could change sides in the war at any moment. British forces arrived at the Cape bearing a letter from the Prince of Orange asking the Commissioner to allow the British troops to protect the Cape from France until the war. The British informed the Commissioner that the Prince had fled to England. The reaction in the Cape Council was mixed, and eventually the British successfully invaded the Cape in the Battle of Muizenberg. The British immediately announced the beginning of free trade. As elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the world, trading in slaves was a significant activity. A notable event was the mutiny, in 1766, of the slaves on the slaver ship Meermin.
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - White Age of map color: - Later Colors used: - Pink, green, yellow, blue General color appearance: - Authentic Paper size: - 17 1/2in x 10 1/2in (440mm x 265mm) Margins: - min. 1/2in (12mm) Imperfections: Margins: - None Plate area: - None Verso: - None