JAVA. Gezigt van de Straat Sunda / Vue du Detroit de La Sonde .

Antique print showing a view of the Sunda straits with ships as seen from Anjer / Anyer on the Island of Java, Indonesia. Entitled: JAVA. Gezigt van de Straat Sunda / Vue du Detroit de La Sonde  .

This original lithograph originates from: 'Gezigten uit Neerlands Indie, naar de natuur geteekend en beschreven.', by C.W.M. van de Velde, published in Amsterdam, Frans Buffa en Zonen (1844-1845). A very beautiful and luxuriously illustrated work on Indonesia.

Artists and Engravers: Charles William Meredith van de Velde (1818-1898) was a Dutch Navy officer, painter and mercenary. Van de Velde drew the drawings whilst he was a midshipman on the ZM Triton and later when he was working in Batavia for the Commission for the Improvement of Maps and Charts of Indonesia. He had the ambition to reproduce the beauty of Indonesian landscapes, in which he was inspired by the artists and other members of the French scientific expedition under Dumont D'Urville. Frans Buffa en Zonen was at that time the most famous lithographic workshop in Amsterdam. All 50 plates were carefully lithographed by the renowned Belgian lithographer Paulus Lauters (1806-1876), who also had worked for Goubau's lithographic printing office in Brussels. In 1836, when the Royal School for Engraving was founded by Antoine Dewasme at Brussels, Lauters was appointed professor of drawing.

The Sunda Strait (Indonesian: Selat Sunda) is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean. The strait takes its name from the Sunda Kingdom, which ruled the western portion of Java (an area covering the present day West Java, Jakarta, Banten, and some of western Central Java) from 669 to around 1579. The name also alludes to the Sundanese people native to West Java and Banten, as distinct from the Javanese people, who live mostly in Central and East Java.

Extending in a roughly southwest/northeast orientation, with a minimum width of 24 km (15 mi) at its northeastern end between Cape Tua on Sumatra and Cape Pujat on Java, the strait is part of the Java Sea. It is essentially triangular in shape, with two large bays on its northern side. It is also very broad and deep at its southwestern end, but as it narrows to the northeast it becomes much shallower, with a minimum depth of only 20 m (66 ft) in parts of its northeastern end.

The strait is notoriously difficult to navigate because of this shallowness, very strong tidal currents, sandbanks, and man-made obstructions such as oil platforms off the Java coast.

For centuries, the strait was an important shipping route, especially during the period when the Dutch East India Company used it as the gateway to the Spice Islands of Indonesia (1602–1799). However, its narrowness, shallowness, and lack of accurate charting make it unsuitable for many modern, large ships, most of which use the Strait of Malacca instead.

The strait is dotted with a number of islands, many of which are volcanic in origin. They include: Sangiang (Thwart-the-Way), Sebesi, Sebuku, and Panaitan (Prince's). The most famous of the islands, however, is Krakatoa, which exploded in 1883 in one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history. The islands in the strait and the nearby surrounding regions of Java and Sumatra were devastated in that eruption, primarily due to the intense pumice fall and the huge tsunamis the eruption caused.

The Krakatoa eruption drastically altered the topography of the strait, with as much as 18–21 km³ of ignimbrite being deposited over an area of 1.1 million km² around the volcano. Some areas, such as the coastal region of Java now incorporated into the Ujung Kulon National Park, have never been resettled, but much of the coastline is now very densely populated. Aside from Krakatoa's sole remaining peak, Rakata, the Krakatoa Archipelago consists of the islands of Lang (Panjang or Rakata Kecil), Verlaten (Sertung), and most recently, Anak Krakatau, which emerged in 1927 from the original Krakatoa's shattered remains.

A beautiful and detailed crayon style lithograph on a vellin type paper. Some age-related toning. Blank verso. Please study the image carefully.

(The image shown of this print is created from separate scans joined together, and might be joined imperfectly at some parts. We are happy to send you photographs if the complete sheet) 

Van De Velde
Sunda Straits, Gezigt van de Straat Sunda Vue du Detroit de La Sond by C.W.M. van de Velde
Publication Place / Date
Image Dimensions
/ Amsterdam 1844
47 by 31 cm.
Copperplate Engraving
Product Price
Product Number
USD 380
SKU #P.2134