The Dutch Attack on the Portuguese Fleet in the Sunda Street Between Java and Sumatra in the Year 1601.
A beautifully engraved vibrant black and white mid- 17th century print of the Dutch attack (Battle of Bantam) on the Portuguese fleet off Bantam in 1601 depicted as the victory of Admiral Wolfert Harmensz and his 5 ships over 30 Portuguese ships.
The ships in the battle include the Sultan of Bantam’s war galleys (ghali); ocean-going craft with sails, oars and a prow battering ram built according to Mediterranean standards learnt from Portuguese renegades and Turkish shipwrights. They were built to allow them to shoot the large cannon necessary for battles at sea. These war fleets served the expansionist policies of the sultans of Banten and Aceh in their search for pepper.
The print is from Isaac Commelin’s (1598-1676) Begin ende voortgangh….. (2 volumes) describing voyages made for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and published by Jan Jansson (Jan. Janz.) in Amsterdam in 1644, 1645 and 1646. A French edition by René Augustin de Renneville (Recueil des Voyages … Des Indes Orientales, Formée dans les Provinces Unies des Pais-Bas) was published in Paris between 1702-1706 and an undated English edition entitled “A Collection of Voyages Undertaken by the Dutch East India Company”.