Auction 165, Lot 737

"[Untitled - The First Sighting of the Pacific Ocean]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Prints Native American

Period: 1631 (circa)

Publication: Grands Voyages, Part IV

Color: Hand Color

7.8 x 6.4 inches
19.8 x 16.3 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.

Although this engraving is centered on Vasco Nunez de Balboa and his soldiers quarreling over a pile of pearls and gold, the real attraction is at top left, where the Indians of the Darien are pointing to the Pacific Ocean. Balboa, who had become Governor of Veragua (the Spanish colonial territory in Central America) in 1513, led an expedition from Santa Maria on the northern coast of Panama to the South Sea (the Pacific Ocean) in search of gold. On September 25, 1513, Balboa viewed the Pacific Ocean for the first time from the summit of a mountain, and is credited with being the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean. On a full sheet of German text measuring 9.3 x 14.3".


Condition: A

Clean and bright with minor creasing along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $750

Closed on 11/15/2017