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Royal Delft certificate for DUYFKEN commemorative plate

Date: 2006
Dimensions:
Overall: 104 x 149 mm
Medium: Cardboard
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Stephen Brady
Object Name: Certificate
Object No: 00046926

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    Description
    The DUYFKEN (Little Dove) was a Dutch East India Company (VOC) pinnace of around 50 tons. In 1605 the Duyfken under Captain Willem Janszoon was sent from Java to search for trade opportunities to the 'south and east'. In early 1606 the Duyfken made landfall on the Australian continent at Pennefather River in the Gulf of Carpentaria, before continuing south across Albatross Bay to Cape Keer-Weer (turnabout).

    This was the first time that Australia had appeared on a map as a result of observation, rather than conjecture, and marked the beginning of the mapping of Terra Australis by Europeans.

    In 2006, the 400th anniversary of the Dufkyen's exploration of Australia was commemorated with a series of events across the country involving the replica ship DUYFKEN. This porcelain plate was part of a limited edition specially commissioned for the anniversary year commemorations.

    SignificanceThe plate is part of a limited edition series in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the original DUYFKEN's visit to Australian shores. Prior to 2006, the role of the DUYFKEN in early Australian exploration was not widely known. The art and design work on the plate expresses the aims of the commemoration organisers.
    HistoryThe DUYFKEN or Little Dove in English, was a Dutch pinnace of around 50 tons built in the Netherlands in the 1590s. The ship was sent to the Spice Islands and involved in conflicts with the Portugese and Spanish over possession and trade in the Spice in Java in the early 1600s.

    In 1605 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) sent the DUYFKEN under Captain Willem Janszoon to search for trade opportunities to the 'south and east' of Java. Janszoon's instructions were 'to discover the great land Nova Guinea and other unknown east and south lands', with further orders to search for a passage through to the Pacific Ocean. With its shallow beam, the DUYFKEN was ideally suited to exploring uncharted coastlines.

    Janszoon took the ship along the south coast of New Guinea. At one landing, Papuans killed eight crew members. Undeterred, Janszoon sailed south-east, past Torres Strait which he thought was a bay, until he reached the western coast of Cape York Peninsula, assuming all the time that he was still following the New Guinea coastline.

    In early 1606 the DUYFKEN made landfall on the Australian continent at Pennefather River in the Gulf of Carpentaria, before continuing south across Albatross Bay to Cape Keer-Weer (turnabout), where it turned and retraced its route. At the mouth of the Batavia River, just to the north of the original landfall, a crewmember in a longboat was killed in a skirmish with Aboriginal people. With half of his crew now dead, and those remaining running short of food and water, Janszoon set sail for home.

    He had charted more than 300 kilometres of shoreline on his short voyage. This was the first time that Australia had appeared on a map as a result of observation, rather than conjecture, and marked the beginning of the mapping of Terra Australis by Europeans.

    In 2006, the 400th anniversary of the DUYFKEN's exploration of Australia was commemorated. Prior to this in 1993, a group of people in Fremantle, including Michael G Kailis, Rinze Brandsma, Charlie Welker and Graeme Cocks, established the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation with a view to raising funds to build a reconstuction of the ship. The hull was launched on 24 January 1999 and the replica DUYFKEN sail for the first time on the 10th of July 1999.

    To commemorate the anniversary, the Australian Government sponsored a voyage by the replica DUYFKEN to 'share the stories of our extraordinarly diverse and rich coastal and maritime heritage'.

    In April 2006 the DUYFKEN undertook a 10-month, 12,000km journey from Fremantle to Europe under a partnership between the Australian Government, the Duyfken Replica Foundation and 'Australia on the Map 1606-2006'. During 2006 there were a series of commemorative events across the country associated with the DUYFKEN that encompassed Indigenous sites, Macassan (early Indonesian) sites, and places associated with European settlement.

    This porcelain plate was part of a limited edition specially commissioned for the anniversary year commemorations. The plate was manufactured at the instigation of the Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands in 2006, Stephen Brady. Plates were given by Mr Brady to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of the Netherlands and other Dutch and foreign dignitaries who attended a dinner hosted by the Australian Ambassador in the Ridderzaal for 400 guests on 30 January 2006. Reconciliation with Indigenous Australians was an important element to the commemorations, as can be seen in the commission of an Aboriginal artist, Richard Walley, for the plate design.

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