Amsterdam: Cornille Nicolas, 1609. Two parts. 22, leaves (second part with its own titlepage). Folio. Modern three-quarter morocco and marbled boards, spine gilt. A few leaves with worm tracks expertly repaired. Very good. Item #WRCAM38891
Second French edition, following the first French edition of 1601, of this important voyages narrative, describing the initial Dutch exploration and expansion to the East Indies, a significant element in a global commercial enterprise which was to develop throughout the 17th century. Van Neck, who represented the Verre Company, commanded three ships which were part of the first successful Dutch trading voyage to the region. The other two ships were commanded by Wybrand Van Warwijck and Jacob Van Heemskerk. Van Neck's vessel became separated from the other two after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, and the three did not reunite again until his arrival in Java in late December 1598. Unlike his Dutch predecessor, Cornelis Houtman, who three years earlier had seized the port of Bantam, Van Neck dealt diplomatically with the natives. "Rather than rejecting the inflated prices asked by the local ruler, he offered to pay over the odds in order to cement a lasting relationship...Van Neck's was the most profitable of the pre-VOC [Dutch East India Company] voyages. Despite the apparently high price paid for spices, he netted a profit of 300 per cent on his overall costs. In 1601, fourteen fleets comprising sixty-five ships sailed for the East Indies, but by that time competition between rival Dutch operators, as well as with the Portuguese, had inflated prices and none were as successful as Van Neck's first enterprise" - Howgego. While focused on activity in the East Indies, EUROPEAN AMERICANA notes that the text includes references to Brazil and tobacco from the West Indies. The second part of this 1609 French edition (which has its own titlepage) is an eight-page appendix of words spoken in Java and Malay, including word lists in French (printed in roman type), Malay (in italic type), and Javanese (in civilité). EUROPEAN AMERICANA 609/93. TIELE 786. TIELE-MULLER 129. HOWGEGO N13. JCB (3)II:64.