Antique map of the famous Banda Islands in Indonesia, including Banda Api, Banda Neira, Banda Besar, Pulau Hatta (Rosengain), Pulau Ai and Pulau Run. The Banda Islands in South Molucca were the only source of nutmeg and mace in the world up to the end of the 18th century. This print originates from 'Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën' by F. Valentijn.
Francois Valentijn (1666-1727) was a minister, naturalist and writer. He is best known for his Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien ("Old and New East-India"), a book about the history of the Dutch East India Company and the countries of the Far East.
Valentijn was born in 1666 in Dordrecht, Holland, but spent significant time in the tropics, notably in Ambon, in the Maluku Archipelago,. In total, Valentijn lived in the East Indies 16 years. Valentijn was first employed by the Dutch V.O.C. or East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) at the age of 19, where he served as Minister to the East Indies. He returned to Holland for about ten years, before returning to the Indies in 1705 where he was to serve as Army Chaplain on an expedition in eastern Java. He again returned to Dordrecht where wrote his Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien (1724-26) a massive work of five parts published in eight volumes and containing over one thousand illustrations and including some of the most accurate maps of the Indies of the time. He died in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1727.