Author Archives: ianburnet

About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'.

24 November 1642, Van Diemens Land

In the late afternoon of 24 November 1642, and thankfully still in daylight, the Dutch East India Company ships Heemskerk and the Zeehan sighted distant mountains. An overnight storm could dash them onto this unknown coast and they prudently decided … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

An Indonesian Market

How much fun is an Indonesian market? Lively,  full of fun and friendly banter as the vendors (mainly women) sell their fish, fruit, and vegetables from their kitchen gardens. This market is on the island of Saparua in Maluku, Eastern … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Clear skies over Jakarta!

As you can see from this painting by Hendrik Jacobsz, it was possible in 1650 to see the mountains behind Jakarta from the harbour. Mountains which are about 60 km inland, are not far past the town of Bogor, and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Historic Maps in Marble

The new Amsterdam City Hall was completed in 1655. This remarkable building which was built on 13,659 wooden piles at a cost 8.5 million guilders, is now the Royal Palace and still dominates the Dam Square today. The relatively simple … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

1934 London to Melbourne Air Race – The Flight of KLM Uiver

The 1934 air race from London to Melbourne was sponsored by Melbourne businessman and philanthropist Sir Macpherson Robertson, founder of the MacRobertson Confectionery Company. The race was initiated as part of the Melbourne and Victorian Centenary celebrations. An exquisite gold … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

SIGNALS – Tasman Map Book Review

History Underfoot by Jeffrey Mellefont Like me, many Signals readers will have entered the State Library of NSW through the northern portico of the Mitchell Library and then crossed the vestibule to the muted reading room that’s so solemn with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Coral Triangle, The Rajah Ampat and Wayag Island

In early 2020 I joined the Coral Adventurer on its voyage to the Rajah Ampat and the Spice Islands. The ‘Coral Triangle’ is the planet’s richest centre of marine life and coral diversity, with over 6,000 species of fish, 76% … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Sir William Dixon bronze doors at the Mitchell Library

Inspired by the style of doors that graced the entries of some of America’s most significant public buildings, the bronze portico doors at the entrance to the Mitchell Library in Sydney illustrate various elements of Australian history. Principal librarian William … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Dutch Prime Minister and the Tasman Map

  The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte, spent three days on a working visit to Sydney and Melbourne from 9 to 11 October 2019. Mr Rutte’s busy schedule began at Admiralty House where he was appointed an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

THE GLOBE – Tasman Map Book Review

The Tasman Map , also known as the Bonaparte Tasman Map, is a prize possession of the Mitchell Library in Sydney. It was bequeathed to the Library, though in a rather roundabout fashion explained in detail in Chapter 27, by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment