Catalog Archive
Auction 164, Lot 46

De Bry's Elaborate Map of North and South America

"Americae Pars Magis Cognita", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Western Hemisphere - America

Period: 1592 (dated)

Publication: Grand Voyages

Color: Black & White

17.6 x 14.4 inches
44.7 x 36.6 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.

Focusing on the Spanish possessions in the Americas, this map covers what is the present-day southern United States through South America. It was published to accompany the accounts of the voyages of Johann van Stadden and Jean de Lery. The cartography is drawn from de Bry's own map of Florida and the West Indies after Jacques le Moyne. However, there is no easily discernible source for the South American cartography, with its southern regions shown too broad, but not quite bulging as with the Ortelius version. De Bry's extraordinary engraving skill and artful style are very evident with the large elaborate cartouches, coats of arms, two compass roses, sea monster, Spanish galleon and intricate border.

References: Burden #80; Garratt (TMC-9) #G-3.

Condition: B+

A clean and bright example, issued folding and now flattened, with a short printer's crease at top center. There are professional repairs to two 1/2" fold separations, a tiny hole at bottom right, and a tiny chip and tear at bottom center. The left and bottom margins are narrow, as issued. A lovely example - very nearly an "A."

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

Sold for: $3,750

Closed on 9/13/2017