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View of Banda drawn from the Dutch vessel BELGICA

Date: 1845
Dimensions:
Overall: 369 x 229 mm, 0.1 kg
Sheet: 122 x 274 mm
Medium: Pencil, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00017941
Related Place:Banda Aceh,

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    Description
    Pencil on paper drawing of Banda Api, an active island volcano in the Banda Sea.
    The drawing depicts the island of Banda Api, one of the 10 islands known as the Banda Islands. A colony amidst the mountains can be seen on land as well as some vessels in the sea. Th inscription records that the image was drawn from the BELIGCA and is dated 1845.

    SignificanceThe main Dutch settlement of Batavia and on other islands throughout Indonesia, were the main bases for exploration and trade by the VOC in the Asian region during the 17th and 18th centuries. This drawing depicts the area, Banda Islands, from which the Dutch had run one of their most profitable commodities - nutmeg.
    HistoryThe Banda Islands were one of the first Indonesian islands to come to the notice of the Dutch and the VOC. They are a cluster of 10 small islands in the Banda Sea, located south east of Ambon in the Moluccos Island group.
    Nutmeg, already a highly valued commodity in Europe, only grew in the Banda Islands and in 1609 the island of Banda Neira became "the first piece of real estate in the Indies to which the Dutch formally claimed soverign rights".
    This had devastaing effects on the local population of the islands with the Dutch reducing the number of local inhabitants by thousands.
    The escalating price of nutmeg in Europe, due to the perception it prevented the plague, and the fact in only grew to this date on the Banda Islands, saw the Dutch battle the English fiercely for total control. The English still had control of one of the Banda Islands, Run, which the Dutch wanted desperately as it would complete their total control of the nutmeg trade. In 1667 the Treaty of Breda was drwan up which gave control of Run to the Dutch and control of New Amsterdam in the Americas to the English. This small island, so far away, would change it's name to New York.
    All this control came a little too late to save the VOC which was bankrupt by the end of the C17th. After changing hands again in the early C19th, the Banda Islands became obsolete to European trade as nutmeg trees were by the mid C19th growing in other locations, having been transported by the British and French.

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