"[Lot of 3] Plate 29 [How the Floridians Deliberate on Important Matters with Ceremonial Drinks] [and] Plate 27 [How the Floridians Go Swimming from Island to Island] [and] Plate 17 [The Duties of the Hermaphrodites]", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Florida, Natives
Period: 1591 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II
8.4 x 5.8 inches
21.3 x 14.7 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.
On sheets of German text measuring approximately 9.5 x 13.5".
A. Plate 29 [How the Floridians Deliberate on Important Matters with Ceremonial Drinks], hand color. This engraving shows a Florida chief flanked by his councilors as they imbibe cassina or black drink from a conch shell. A couple of the men vomit in reaction to the beverage. In the foreground, women prepare the cassina from the sacred holly plant. Condition: There is a small portion of the engraved image missing at bottom right, and an archivally repaired edge tear enters the image at top. At bottom, a large chip out of the text has been replaced with archival materials. (B)
B. Plate 27 [How the Floridians Go Swimming from Island to Island], hand color. This engraving depicts native Floridians swimming for recreation. The male figure at right brings a bow and arrow with him for protection, tying the quiver to the top of his head with his hair to keep it dry. A mother ferries three children and a basket of fruit across the river. Condition: There is light soiling. At bottom, a large chip out of the text has been replaced with archival materials. (B)
C. Plate 17 [The Duties of the Hermaphrodites], black & white. According to the text (Le Moyne), hermaphrodites were common among the native population. Because of their strength, they were employed like pack animals and used for carrying the sick and dead during war. The scene illustrates two natives on stretchers heading to the burial grounds, along with two other injured natives ride piggyback . The depictions of hermaphrodites reveal fully developed men with female hairstyles. Condition: There are a few worm tracks, including a small one in the engraved image, and some minor spots. The correct plate appears to have been contemporaneously pasted over an engraving that did not correspond with the title and text. (B+)
See description above.