Model of a boat

Moluccas (Maluku Islands),

Perahu tjenkeh

Early 20th century

Height: 7 ¾ in. (20.5 cm)
Length: 14 ½ in. (37 cm)

Price: sold

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As stated by the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, UK, the Spice Islands (known today as the Malaku or Moluccas) are a small group of islands to the north-east of Indonesia, between Celebes and New Guinea. They were the largest producers of many different spices (mace, nutmeg, cloves and pepper) and attracted traders worldwide. There was a thriving trade in spices and other goods in the Far East for centuries before European vessels arrived in the Indian Ocean in 1498. Spices were bought with Chinese silks, Indian cottons, Arabian coffee and African ivory. Spices had been available in Europe throughout the Middle Ages but the prices were very high because they had to be shipped expensively overland through the hands of many traders.
The Portuguese began buying spices directly from the Spice Islands as early as the 1520s. Dutch and English ships did not reach the islands for another 80 years.