Sailfish aboard the H.M. Siboga, Banda

photographer unknown1899/1900

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

In January 1916 a gift of 285 negatives was recorded in the photograph collection’s benefactor’s book that had come from the Society for the Promotion of Research in the Natural Sciences in the Dutch Colonies (the so-called Treub Society). The intermediary involved in this gift was the zoologist Professor H.F. Nierstrasz (1872–1935) from Utrecht, who participated as the second assistant in the Siboga Expedition in 1899–1900 to the eastern part of the Indonesian Archipelago. The zoologist Professor Max Wilhelm Carl Weber (1852–1937) led the expedition.

The Siboga Expedition was named after the huge, newly built military steamship, the H.M. Siboga. The Netherlands Indies Navy (Nederlands-Indische Marine) made the ship available for the duration of the expedition.
The ship had to be modified: a laboratory was installed and several devices for use in deep-sea research were placed on board. During the expedition there were 63 passengers: 10 Dutch navy officers, 6 scientists, 45 Javanese sailors and 2 servants. Of particular interest was the participation of the wife of the expedition leader, Anna Weber- Van Bosse. She was a marine biologist who, in addition to her scientific work on this expedition, published the report 'Een jaar aan boord H.M. Siboga' (1904). This report contributed to the Siboga Expedition gaining wide repute among a broad public.

The purpose of the expedition was to conduct research into flora and fauna in Indonesian waters. This happened in the seas separating Borneo and Celebes, the North and South Moluccans Islands and the large and small Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara). Marine animals and plants were collected from the shallow waters lining the coasts and from further out to sea. These were later analysed in reports. The scientific report of this expedition is one of the most extensive Dutch expedition reports in existence, and the negatives from this expedition are still important examples of expedition photography in the Netherlands East Indies.

Vink, S. the siboga expedition of 1899–1900. In: Photographs of the Netherlands East Indies at the Tropenmuseum. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2012, p.97.

13 x 18cm (5 1/8 x 7 1/16in.)

Source: collectie.tropenmuseum.nl

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  • Title: Sailfish aboard the H.M. Siboga, Banda
  • Creator: photographer unknown
  • Date: 1899/1900
  • Location: Pulau Banda