Extremely rare set of 4 aquatint prints of Malacca, published in the year 1835 in a travelogue “Voyage autour du monde par le mers de l’inde et de la chine.” Commemorating the voyages of the corvette La Favorite under the command of M. Laplace. The corvette made anchor in the Coromandel Coast, the Malacca Strait, and further ports in the South China Sea and eventually South America in a trip that took place from 1830 until 1832. This historic album of prints was put together by M. De Sainson and published in Paris, 1835. The book itself was followed by a further four books, 5 in total, detailing the complete voyage and vistas.
This set comes from the original first edition, first volume travelogue and is usually sold individually. It is a rare opportunity to acquire all four Malacca prints in such excellent condition as a set. A complete set of 4 is hardly seen on the market. A unique find for those interested in colonial Malaysia.
Débarcadère de Malacca (Landing Stage of Malacca), the landing area at the port of Malacca. One of the major ports in South East Asia, all ships traversing the Strait of Malacca would make port there before continuing on to their next destination.
Vue prise à Malacca (View of Malacca). This image shows some riders on horseback down the old town road along the Malacca river. Based on the headwear, the men on horseback were likely British or European. A figure with a queue can be seen nearby, suggesting the person is of Chinese descent.
Embouchure de la riviere de Malacca (Mouth of the Malacca river). As with any port city, the local river was Malacca’s lifeblood. As ships docked at port, smaller vessels would use the banks to offload goods and passengers. The guards seen in the image are likely Sepoys, British soldiers of Indian extraction.
Restes de fortifications portugaises à Malacca (Ruins of Portuguese Fortifications in Malacca). The first European power to explore the East Indies was the Portuguese. Though they did not leave as lasting of a mark as they did in South America or Africa, cities and islands dotting the Indies bear their legacies. In British times, Portuguese forts were attractive ruins for the rising number of tourists.
Malacca and the Spice Trade,
One of the first permanent European settlements in Southeast Asia, Malacca was extremely important during the Spice Trade because it was located in the similarly named Malacca Strait. It was the first path from the Indian Ocean to the Spice Islands and whoever controlled it became fabulously wealthy. Portugal was the first nation to control the strait, which later came under Dutch and finally British control. Malacca today reflects this multinational history and continues to exhibit the vibrant legacies of both local and external cultures.
A subset of intaglio printing, aquatint prints were made by etching images onto paper and fastening ink to the etched surfaces. These prints were sometimes coloured with watercolour though the vast majority of intaglio prints were left in monochrome. The result was a print-rich in tones, offering the admirer a gorgeous contrast of “lights” so to speak. Aquatint and other methods of intaglio printing were later displaced by lithography as the chief printmaking method due to the ease and lower cost of lithographs.