This is a scarce and historically important printed map (1682) that records the settlement along the Liesbeeck river and one of the very early journeys of exploration by the VOC. It is seldom aviable in the market - more commonly available is a later English edition.
Johan Nieuhof had visited the Cape in 1653, 1659 and 1671-1672, when the tiny settlement had not extended beyond the area of the map; he worked for the VOC from 1660 to 1667. Although the map is said to have been engraved from Nieuhoff's drawings, Nieuhof based his drawings on a VOC manuscript map (NL-HaNA, Kaarten Leupe, 4.VEL, inv.nr. 846, probably drawn by Pieter Potter, a surveyor, and taken to the Netherlands in 1658). Nieuhof added toponyms and comments on the agricultural suitability of the land and an artist added crude drawings of animals and trees and a vignette and prospect of the settlement.
In 1657, the VOC allowed some of its employees (Vryburghers - free citizens) to establish farms along the Liesbeeck River below the Wind Berg (Wind Mountain, now Devil's Peak) and the eastern cliffs of Table Mountain. These parcels of land are described as uytgedeelt lant (allocated land, i.e. land grants) on the map.
Nieuhof's scarce map is also the first to show the route taken by some of the first VOC explorers; the routes shown on this map (Reyswech) are of Cpl. Muller's party in 1655 to explore the land to the east of the Castle and Abraham Gabemma's party in 1657 to explore the north-east (E.E. Mossop, Old Cape Highways (Cape Town: Maskew Miller, 1927), pp. 22-24, 59-62 & opp p.54).
The map also shows the canal proposed by Commissioner General Rijckloff van Goens that would join Table and False Bays; the canal was never constructed. Hout (Wood) Bay on the northern coast of the peninsula is identified for the first time on a printed map; the bay was one of the few sources of wood used in construction. False Bay is incorrectly named Bay Tafel (Table Bay).
This map is from the book by Johan Nieuhof: Die gedenkwaerdige ... zee- en Lant-Reise door verscheide Gewesten van Oostindien, behelzende veele zeldzaame en wonderlijke voorvallen en geschiedenissen. Beneffens een beschrijving van lantschappen, dieren, gewassen, draghten, zeden en godsdienst der inwoonders: En inzonderheit een wijtloopig verhael der Stad Batavia (Amsterdam: Weduwee van Jacob van Meurs, 1682).
By the time Nieuhof's map was published, settlers had started to occupy land further to the east, e.g. the village of Stellenbosch (1674) - see Loots's 1698 map (map #3).
The map is in very good condition - there are repairs to small tears at the top corners. The paper is aged toned and there is old outline colour and the cartouche is also coloured; there is a beautiful watermark behind False Bay.
Norwich's Maps of Africa, #209. Not in Tooley
- Overall Condition: Fine
- Size: 34.0 x 26.8cm
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