Auction 129, Lot 1

"[Lot of 2] Americae Tertia Pars [and] Das Vierdte Buch von der Neuwen Welt", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1593-94 (published)

Publication: Grands Voyages

Color: Black & White

8.3 x 11.8 inches
21.1 x 30 cm

This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.

These two title pages are from the remarkable series of publications known as the Grands Voyages. This series recounted the voyages of discovery to the Americas, and provided many Europeans with their first view of the New World. The first is America Part III, which described the land of Brazil based on the account of Hans von Staten, who was captured by the Tupinamba Indians. Gruesome scenes of cannibalism contrast with the classical design of the sheet, which is rendered in the architectural style. The second is from Part IV, which presented the Italian adventurer, Girolamo Benzoni's travels throughout the West Indies. This sheet is presented in an entirely different, organic style. Columbus' ships sail through a rock arch at bottom and a grotesque Indian god is worshiped at top. A variety of West Indian natives fill the jungle scene that surrounds the German title.

References: Shirley (TP) #21.

Condition: B+

Minor toning and a few edge tears and creases, else very good.

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 9/23/2009