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Nutmeg Print ~ 1646

"Afteeckeninge Van De Note-Moschaten." ~ 1646 ~ Commelin ~ Begin ende Voortgang vande Vereenigde Neederlandtsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie

PRINT ENTITLED: "Afteeckeninge Van De Note-Moschaten."
SOURCE:  Begin ende voortgang vande Vereenigde
     Neederlandtsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indche Compagnie.
     in 4 volumes.

PUBLISHER:  Joannes Janssonius, Amsterdam, Holland.
    portrays the history of the Dutch VOC spice & trade expeditions.
PRINT METHOD:  Copperplate engraving; a plate mark identifying the intaglio process.
PAPER TYPE:  Handmade antique laid and chain-link paper with a water mark.
VOLUME, SECTION & PAGE NUMBER:   Vol. I, Fol. I, n : 20. (See: text Page 25.)Isaak Commelin

HISTORY:  Isaac Commelin [also: Commelijn] (1598~1676) descended from a family of book printers and publishers.  Living in Leiden, Holland in 1624, Commelin published scientific works.  After his wife's death in 1641, he returned to the place of his boyhood in Amsterdam where he continued his profession.  

Travel guides and atlases of the period were of vital importance to international trade.  In connection with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) {Verenigde Oostindische Compagnier}, Commelin produced 30 detailed manuscripts detailing the Dutch VOC spice & trade expeditions. Many illustrations within Commelin's work are believed to originate from research collected during the voyage of Jacob Cornelisz van Neck occuring between 1598 to 1600. Printed in Amsterdam in 1646 by Joannes Janssonius in affiliation with Commelin, these important works were published in four volumes and contained approximately 230 detailed images and maps. This nutmeg engraving (identified only as "n : 20") is found in Fol. I: Tweede Schipvaerd der Hollanders Naer Ooft-Indien.  Located on page 25 of the book, there is detailed text associated with the engraving which reads:  No. 20. Afteeckeninghe van de Note-mofchaten.  This engraving details the various stages of the nutmeg ~ "the seed covered with mace inside the fruit", "the seed contained within its shell" and the "extracted seed" ~ as described within the text.

Neither Janssonius' nor Commelin's names appear on the title page or elsewhere within this publication.  Modern scholars speculate that the author/publishers omitted their names due to feared reprisal over infringement of the VOC patent.  Further, it is known that much additional work by Commelin was secured within the VOC archives, where it remained obscured from public view ~ the VOC had no interest to educate competing foreign enterprises in the spice trade. 

                                                                                                                                                                                 [KLOPFER article © September 2014]