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A one-horned goat, a dodo and a red rail


A one-horned goat, a dodo and a red rail

  1. Pieter van den Broecke remained in his position of Director for the VOC in the areas of Surat, Arabia and Persia until 1628. During this time he oversaw the Dutch trade in the region and maintained relations with the Mughal governor of Surat, where he was based. One of the main sources of trade for the Dutch were the large caravans that travelled between Surat and Agra, the Mughal capital. In 1624, the caravan brought a particularly curious creature: a goat which had only one horn, which was growing in such a way that it would penetrate the goat’s skull if it wasn’t cut regularly. Van den Broecke received the goat as a gift from the governor. In this image we see the gift in the centre. Curiously, the artist decided to add a dodo and a red rail to the image. These animals were indigenous to Mauritius and would certainly not have been brought by the same caravan.

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Sources and literature

[Coolhaas, uitg. Van Linschoten Ver.], Pieter van den Broecke in Azië ([1963])