Copper engraving, 25 x 31.5 cm, black and white, blank verso.
Olfert Dapper (1636-1689) was a Dutch physician and scholar who devoted most of his life to geographical studies without ever leaving his home town of Amsterdam. Using the most reliable eye-witness accounts and his own extensive library of travel books he composed authoratitive and entertaining finely-illustrated works on Asia, Africa and America. His Naukeurige Beschrijvinghe Der Afrikaensche was first published in Dutch in 1668, in German in 1670 and in French in 1686, and it was used by John Ogilby (1600-1676) as the basis for his Africa, the best account of the continent available in English at the time, using many of the same maps and views.
The island of St Helena was regarded by the English as a useful staging post in the South Atlantic shipping lanes, and was governed by the East India Company under a charter granted by Oliver Cromwell. The island had been claimed by the Dutch in the 1630s and 1640s and Dapper does not indicate any of the English settlements.