Catalog Archive
Auction 169, Lot 742


"[Petits Voyages Part I - Warhaffte und Eigentliche Beschreibung Desz des Konigreichs Congo in Africa]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Central Africa

Period: 1597 (published)


Color: Black & White

7.9 x 11.8 inches
20.1 x 30 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 disbound chapter is the first edition of Part I of de Bry's Petits Voyages, chronicling Odoardo Lopez' voyage to the Congo in 1578. Lopez, a Portuguese trader, remitted his knowledge of the Congo to Fillipo Pigafetta. His account was one of the most important early descriptions of the region. Included are 13 plates of Natives, one title page, a preface, 74 pp. of text, and an index. Missing from this chapter are the two maps of the Congo, the intial title page, and one plate (XIIII). The plates are:

1. The arrival of the Portuguese in the county Cogno
2. The Portuguese appear before the king of the Congo
3. How the Congolese men dress
4. How the Congolese dress for war and play
5. Women's fashion in the Congo
6. How the Congolese are transported about
7. An alternative form of transport used by the Congolese
8. Another kind of Congolese transport
9. A description of the zebra
10. Other strange creatures of the island Congo
11. How the king of the Congo had all the devilish idols burnt
12. The inhabitants of Loango and the Anziques
13. The Siagga tribe, who live on the first lake of the river Nile


Condition: B

The condition of the plates ranges from good to very good with light toning, light to moderate soiling, and occasional edge tears. The text is very good with light toning and soiling, although the first three pages are more heavily soiled with old paper repairs along the fore-edges.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $140

Closed on 9/12/2018