Johannes van Keulen (1654 - 1715)
This is the first view of Western Australia and depicts the VOC ships Weseltje and De Geelvink at anchor at Rottnest Island with Black swans.
Vlamingh had landed on Rottnest Island and seeing numerous quokkas and thinking they were large rats named the island "rats’ nest" (Rattennest ). Soon after on 10 January 1697, he ventured up the Swan River and named the Swan River (Zwaanenrivier ) after the large numbers of black swans that were seen. The Black Swan was one of the first Australian birds to be recorded by Europeans, the sighting occurred on 5 July 1636 by Dutch sailor Antonie Caen in the ship the Banda on Bernier Island, N.W. Australia.
Francois Valentijn, Oud En Nieuw Oost-Indien (The Old and New East Indies), 1724-1726.
After the two voyages of Abel Tasman in 1642 and 1644 there was little Dutch activity relating to the South Land. Then in November 1695 the Governor-General in Batavia wrote that the ship, ‘De Ridderschap van Holland’ had not arrived from the Dutch Republic and was assumed to have been shipwrecked on the western Australian coast. This incident stimulated a search for the vessel and a new reconnaissance of the coast. Nicholas Witsen, the administrator of the VOC, instructed the skipper to study the people, flora and fauna of the region. The command of the expedition was given to Willem de Vlamingh, an experienced VOC sea-captain. They were also to find new staging places between the Netherlands and the Cape of Good Hope, and from the Cape to Java. For this reason de Vlamingh’s route included the islands of Tristan da Cunha, Amsterdam and St Paul, the upper images on the engraving. The lower image depicts the VOC ships Weseltje and De Geelvink at anchor at Rottnest Island with Black swans. On 29 December 1696 seaman Caspar Broel on board the Geelvink, first sighted ‘the Fog Island dead ahead’, present-day Rottnest Island. Vlamingh landed on Rottnest Island seeing numerous quokkas and thinking they were large rats named the island ‘rats’ nest’ (Rattennest ).
Soon after on 10 January 1697, he ventured up the Swan River and named the Swan River (Zwaanenrivier ) after the large numbers of black swans that were seen.
TAFS Ill. 78 VGSL 79-80
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