Catalog Archive
Auction 162, Lot 747

Complete Set of De Bry's Native Virginians from Part I

"[Lot of 22 - Complete Set of De Bry's Prints of Virginia Natives]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Prints Native American, Virginia

Period: 1590 (published)

Publication: Grands Voyages...

Color: Black & White

9 x 13.8 inches
22.9 x 35.1 cm
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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 lot is a complete set of the 22 plates on Virginia Natives that were included in the first Latin edition of Part I of de Bry's Grands Voyages. This lot also includes the frontispiece of Adam and Eve, the list of plates, and 32 of the 34 pages of text on Virginia that accompany the plates, missing the sheet with pages 29-30. The only component from the section on Virginia from Part I that is not included is the map, Americae pars, Nunc Virginia (which is Plate I). The frontispiece of Adam & Eve is not from the 1590 Latin edition, but is the exact same plate from another Latin edition, with part of the preface on the verso. All of the other plates have blank versos. The plates depict:

II. The English arrive in Virginia
III. A Weroans, or Chieftain, of Virginia
IIII. One of the Chief Ladies of Secota
V. A Secota Priest
VI. A Young Gentlewoman of Secota
VII. A Chief of Roanoke
VIII. A Noblewoman of Pomeiock
IX. An Old Man in Winter Garb
X. How the Chief Ladies of Dasamonquepeio Carry their Children
XI. The Sorcerer
XII. How They Build Boats in Virginia
XIII. How They Catch Fish
XIIII. How They Cook their Fish
XV. How They Boil Meal in Earthenware Pots
XVI. How They Eat
XVII. Praying Around the Fire with Rattles
XVIII. The Dances at their Great Feasts
XIX. The Town of Pomeiock
XX. The Town of Secota
XXI. The Idol Kewas
XXII. The Tomb of the Weroans
XXIII. The Marks of the Chief Men of Virginia


Condition: B+

The plates and text are mostly bright with some light soiling and slightly tattered edges. Several of the engravings have been trimmed at the edge by the book binder (or because of being printed on paper that was too small or not completely centered). There are old manuscript notations on a number of the sheets, mostly confined to the blank margins. The first text page is more heavily soiled, and a couple of plates have short edge tears that do not enter the image and have been archivally repaired on verso.

Estimate: $6,000 - $7,000


Closed on 4/26/2017