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Critical survey of Dutch mercantile activities in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka

[INDONESIA - INDIA - SRI LANKA].
Nederlandsch India, in haaren tegenwoordigen toestand beschouwd; of waar en gronding berigt van haare regeering, derzelver bestier en handelingen; haare bezittingen; haare militie; haar kwijnenden handel, zeevaart, enz.
Batavia [= Amsterdam?], [1780?]. 8vo. With a decoration on the title-page, headpiece and factotum all built up from rococo typographic ornaments. Contemporary marbled paper wrappers. 80 pp.
€ 2,950
First edition of an economic survey of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) trading posts and possessions in Asia. As might be expected it centres on Indonesia, but also discusses the activities of the Dutch in other places at length: Ceylon, "one of the main possessions"; Coromandel, where the Dutch brought all goods from the smaller trading posts to their outpost and regional capital Nagapattinam (a woman governed the region!); Malabar, exporting no less than 2 million pounds of pepper, cardamom and other spices yearly; Surat, "a complete disorder".
The book provides detailed information about the social-political structures of these trading posts, the valuable goods and materials that the country produces and the way the Dutch operate with the local population. The author is very critical of the abuses in the Dutch East Indies, an observation that was ahead of his time.
A French translation (État présent des Indes Hollandaises, contenant une peinture varie et fidelle du gouvernement) appeared most likely in the same year. Landwehr suggests that the two were published simultaneously and may have been printed in Amsterdam.
With a manuscript list of readers from a Haarlem reading society, beginning on 28 March 1780, on the back of the front wrapper, supporting the date ca. 1780 in the literature. The list includes the names of prominent Haarlemmers: Joh. Enschede (2x), A. Hugaart Heems, Pieter Klaarenbeek and others. Wrappers and leaves slightly frayed, title-page slightly soiled. Otherwise in good condition. Cat. NHSM I, 506; Landwehr, VOC 1596; Rouffaer, p. 62.
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Related Subjects:

Asia  >  India & Sri Lanka | Indonesia / Dutch East Indies | Japan & Far East | VOC - East India Company
History, law & philosophy  >  Economics, Numismatiscs & Trade | VOC & WIC
Low countries  >  History, Economics, Law & Politics | Maritime & Military History