These two manuscript charts of Java's North Coast are, without doubt, one of the absolute highlights of our collection. Stretching from Batavia till Surabaya, they show in great detail how one of the most important islands not only in the Indonesian archipelago but also in the whole Southeast Asian region looked like around 230 years ago.
Both manuscripts are dated 1806 & 1807 and were ordered by perhaps the most powerful man on Java, Nicolas Engelhard, who was governor of Java’s North Coast at the time these charts were created. These historical important documents show unique and interesting information on topography and settlements in early 19th century Java.
The maps have north-facing down, and in the lower parts, north to the Java coast, the charts show the Island groups “Bavian and t’ Eyland Carimon” and “Poelo Lubock of t’ Eyland Baviaan”, nowadays known as the Karimunjawa and Bawean islands. Both these island groups are sketched out in detail on insets on the left chart. Along the top of the charts, eleven finely executed insets show the major ports: Batavia, Surabaya, Semarang, Pekalongan, Tegal, Cirebon, Indramayu, Pamanukan, Damak, Japara and Rembang.
Over seven hundred places and names are mentioned and described in great detail on these magnificently drawn charts. Drawn by hand are numerous details such as cities, rivers, islands, ports and harbours, compass roses, mountains and countless depth soundings. All are done in fine outline colouring and graceful handwriting. On the lower parts of both charts are small insets showing detailed information and drawings on mountains and hills as seen from the sea. Single letters indicate from where, when sailing close to the shores, the shapes of the mountains can be seen from the sea, also sketched out on the mainland parts of both charts.
Hand-drawn manuscript maps and charts are for most collectors considered the holy grails, as they are the rarest and often most valuable pieces to collect. That these two charts are still together, in this fine condition is a unique find for those interested in high-end maps and charts of Indonesia, and of Java in particular.
(As these two manuscripts are large in size (ca. 165 by 95 cm. ) the images shown of this map are created from separate photographs joined together, and might be joined imperfectly at some parts. We are happy to send you the set of high res images which together show the whole two manuscript maps.)