Catalog Archive

Auction 153, Lot 686

"[Title on Verso] Delineatio Regiae Civitatis Candy", Bry, Johann Theodore de

Subject: Kandy, Sri Lanka

Period: 1606 (published)

Publication: Petits Voyages - Indiae Orientalis pars Septima

Color: Hand Color

13.8 x 10.6 inches
35.1 x 26.9 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.

This fascinating engraving depicts the ancient city of Kandy, where Joris van Spilbergen visited in 1602 in the hopes of securing the cinnamon trade in Sri Lanka for the Dutch. The Latin text on verso describes the view and includes a numbered key that corresponds to the engraving. At far right (#1) is Admiral Spilbergen being carried in a sedan chair, and just to the left of the river (#3) Spilbergen is received by the king, Vimala Dharma Suriya. The king's palace (#8) is located within the walled city. In the foreground are four natives: a colonel (#14), a citizen and his wife (#15 & #16), and a slave (#17). Published in De Bry's collection of voyages to the East Indies.


Condition: A

A nice impression and attractive color on watermarked paper with good margins. There is one tiny hole adjacent to centerfold at top and a few minor creases.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $200

Closed on 5/20/2015