Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Reproduced courtesy of Nigel Heriz-Smith

Dutch fluyt ZEEHAEN

Date: 1989
Overall: 0.6 kg
Medium: Timber
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Nigel Heriz-Smith
Object Name: Ship model
Object No: 00008736
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    This ship model was made in England and at a scale of 1:36 represents a typical Dutch fluyt. It is similar in style to the fluyt ZEEHAEN commanded by Abel Tasman in 1642 for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). This model was made by Peter Heriz-Smith from a detailed plan by R Hoekle, published in Berlin by Robert Loef in 1958.
    SignificanceThis ship model represents a typical Dutch sailing vessel active during the 16th and 17th century. It also highlights the presence of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in Australian and Indian waters at the time.
    HistoryThe Dutch 'fluyt' [flute] first appeared around 1595 and was an innovative vessel designed to be suitable for both bluewater seafaring and shallower inshore waters. The ship's designer and first builder Pieter J. Lioorne of Hoorn was initially critised for its unusual appearance but the fluyt went on to become a successful vessel and a fundamental element of the Dutch East India Company or Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) trade. The ship's versatility could be adapted to many industries and trades.

    The VOC played an early role in European exploration of Australasia. In the interests of sourcing potential trade opportunities and to compile reliable charts and maps, the VOC were the first Europeans on record to land on Australian shores and chart the continent's northern and western coasts [from 1606 onwards] Their charts were not always accurately copied, for instance, copies frequently depicted the west coast of Cape York as continuous with Papua New Guinea, however they significantly contributed to New Holland's (later called Australia by Flinders) delineation on the world map.

    A famous Dutch fluyt was the ZEEHAEN. In 1642 Abel Tasman left Batavia in command of the VOC fluyt ZEEHAEN and the yacht HEEMSKERCK, both built in the yards along the Rapenburg in Amsterdam. An expedition to explore the unknown southern oceans had been in the VOC's plans for some time. As a respected Dutch navigator and skipper Tasman was given command of the two ships.

    In 1642 Tasman left to discover if Australia was joined to the Antarctic land mass and he sailed further south than any other recorded ship. He sighted land on the south coast of Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen's Land in honour of the Governor-General of Batavia, Anthonie van Diemen. He also explored New Zealand, the islands of Tonga, parts of the Fiji group and re-examined the north coast of New Guinea. The expedition cemented Tasman’s reputation as a superior mariner and he was promoted to 'commandeur' and given a substantial pay rise.

    Governor-General van Diemen was the highest ranking Dutch official in Batavia (now Jakarta) and an avid supporter of early exploration of unknown oceans to discover new resources and trade opportunities. He held the position for nine years, during which time he successfully helped build the VOC into a thriving merchant company that dominated the spice trade. Among van Diemen's achievements was his support of exploration in the southern oceans and the capture of the islands of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Malacca from the Portuguese and Spanish.
    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.