"Incendie de la Ville de Paita, sur la Cote de Santa Fe dans la Mer du Sud", Anson, George
Subject: Paita, Peru
Period: 1765 (published)
Publication: Reize Rondom de Werreld...
Color: Black & White
14.1 x 5.7 inches
35.8 x 14.5 cm
This attractive and nicely detailed engraving is from the Dutch edition of Anson's Voyage around the World. It depicts the Peruvian city of Paita in flames after Anson's squadron ransacked the town for more than 30,000 British pounds worth of gold, silver, and other valuables. The Centurion is identified along with other ships. Several vessels are shown sinking in the bay. A key appears in both French and Dutch. An alternate Dutch title runs underneath the engraving: Het Verbranden van de Stad Paita op de Kust van Santa Fee in de Zuid Zee.
In 1740 Anson set sail in command of a squadron sent to attack Spanish possessions and interests in South America. The expedition was ill-equipped and failed to carry out its original ambitious mission. By June 1741 when Anson reached Juan Fernandes, his force had been reduced to only three of the original six ships, while the strength of his crews had fallen from 961 to 335. After recuperating on the island he collected the remaining survivors on his flagship, the Centurion, and set sail in search of one of the richly laden galleons that conducted the trade between Mexico and the Philippines. The indomitable perseverance he had shown during one of the most arduous voyages the history of sea adventure gained the reward of the capture of an immensely rich prize, the Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, which he encountered off Cape Espiritu Santo on June 20, 1743.
Issued folding on a watermarked sheet with light toning and a couple small spots of foxing in the engraved image. There are a few fold separations that have been closed on verso with archival tape.