Catalog Archive
Auction 172, Lot 218

"[How a Sentry Was Treated for Negligence] Wie die Wachter irer Fahrlessigkeyt Halben Gestrafft Werden ", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Florida, Natives

Period: 1591 (circa)

Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II

Color: Black & White

8.4 x 6 inches
21.3 x 15.2 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 engraving shows the severe punishment a sentry would receive for neglecting his job. The scene illustrates how an executioner would hit the accused with such force that it would split his skull in half, killing the man instantly. While fellow tribe members in the background appear to be upset by the scene, the European soldiers in the foreground appear to be smirking. Full sheet with German text measures 9.3 x 13.1".


Condition: B+

A crisp engraving with a few small spots and marginal soiling at bottom right.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $150

Closed on 4/17/2019