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Sea chart of Northeast Asia, by J. Van Keulen.

The House of Van Keulen

For more than two centuries, the chart makers firm of Van Keulen was established in the house with the name of “De Gekroonde Lootsman” (The Crowned Pilot). In 1678, the founder of the firm, Johannes I Van Keulen (1634-1689), registered with the Amsterdam booksellers’ guild. He had enlisted the aid of the well-known Mathematical Practitioner Claas Janz Vooght in the preparation of his nautical publications. In 1680 he published the first edition of the Zee-Atlas with 40 charts, all issued for the first time. In the short period of four years, they produced the five volumes of the Nieuwe Groote Ligtende Zee-Fakkel (1681-85). His acquisition of the stock of the bookseller Hendrik Doncker was an essential factor in the development of the firm.

In 1678 a son, Gerard Van Keulen (1678-1726), was born out of Johannes’s first marriage. This son was endowed with talent. He was a skilful engraver and proficient in mathematics and navigational science. Gerard was responsible for establishing the scientific basis of the firm of Van Keulen. In 1714 he was appointed to the office of hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. The Van Keulens remained chart makers to the East India Company until the Company’s liquidation.

With the introductions to the Zee-Fakkel and Zee-Atlas, Gerard van Keulen gave a new impetus to the firm. Unfortunately, he did not live long, dying when he was 49. The business was carried on by his widow Ludwina Konst. Shortly before Gerard’s death, his son Johannes II had entered the bookseller’s guild, and in 1726 he assumed the management of the firm, though his mother retained her financial interests in the business.

Johannes II Van Keulen (1704-1755) is known in particular for his publication in 1753 of a sixth volume of the Zee-Fakkel, the volume containing the charts of the route to the East Indies.

Johannes II had two sons; they joined the firm as partners in 1757. A considerable number of books appeared in the period 1778-1801. New issues of the Zee-Fakkel again saw the light. The firm flourished under different names until 1885.

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Pascaarte vande Noord Oost Cust van Asia Verthoonende in sich alle de Zee-custen van Tartarien, Van Iapan tot Nova Zemla, ..., 1683.

€1100  ($1287 / £990)
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Item Number:  2443
Category:  Antique maps > Asia > Japan
References: Koeman - Keu(30); de Vries - 279

Old sea chart of Northeast Asia - North Pacific Ocean and the North Polar Sea with Nova Zembla, by J. Van Keulen.

Date of the first edition: 1683
Date of this map: 1690-1700

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 52 x 60cm (20.3 x 23.4 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Original coloured, on heavy paper, wide margins, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Koeman, Keu(30); de Vries, 279.

From: De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt. ... Amsterdam, J. Van Keulen, 1690-1700. (Koeman, Keu18-23).

The House of Van Keulen

For more than two centuries, the chart makers firm of Van Keulen was established in the house with the name of “De Gekroonde Lootsman” (The Crowned Pilot). In 1678, the founder of the firm, Johannes I Van Keulen (1634-1689), registered with the Amsterdam booksellers’ guild. He had enlisted the aid of the well-known Mathematical Practitioner Claas Janz Vooght in the preparation of his nautical publications. In 1680 he published the first edition of the Zee-Atlas with 40 charts, all issued for the first time. In the short period of four years, they produced the five volumes of the Nieuwe Groote Ligtende Zee-Fakkel (1681-85). His acquisition of the stock of the bookseller Hendrik Doncker was an essential factor in the development of the firm.

In 1678 a son, Gerard Van Keulen (1678-1726), was born out of Johannes’s first marriage. This son was endowed with talent. He was a skilful engraver and proficient in mathematics and navigational science. Gerard was responsible for establishing the scientific basis of the firm of Van Keulen. In 1714 he was appointed to the office of hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. The Van Keulens remained chart makers to the East India Company until the Company’s liquidation.

With the introductions to the Zee-Fakkel and Zee-Atlas, Gerard van Keulen gave a new impetus to the firm. Unfortunately, he did not live long, dying when he was 49. The business was carried on by his widow Ludwina Konst. Shortly before Gerard’s death, his son Johannes II had entered the bookseller’s guild, and in 1726 he assumed the management of the firm, though his mother retained her financial interests in the business.

Johannes II Van Keulen (1704-1755) is known in particular for his publication in 1753 of a sixth volume of the Zee-Fakkel, the volume containing the charts of the route to the East Indies.

Johannes II had two sons; they joined the firm as partners in 1757. A considerable number of books appeared in the period 1778-1801. New issues of the Zee-Fakkel again saw the light. The firm flourished under different names until 1885.