Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 392

"[Columbus Lands on San Salvador] [on recto] [Columbus Departs on His First Voyage]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Bahamas, Atlantic Ocean, Spain

Period: 1655 (published)

Publication: Historia Antipodum oder Newe Welt...

Color: Black & White

7.3 x 6.5 inches
18.5 x 16.5 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

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.

These engravings of Christopher Columbus first appeared in Part IV of de Bry's Grands Voyages in 1594, and were republished in Johann Ludwig Gottfried's Historia Antipodum, a collection of voyages. Matthaus Merian, de Bry's son-in-law and publisher for Historia Antipodum, was granted access to de Bry's copper-engraved plates. The scene on verso renders Columbus' first landing on present-day Watling Island, Bahamas. Two of Columbus' crew are shown erecting a cross in the background, while the native Arawaks present gifts of friendship. The engraving on recto depicts Columbus departing Huelva, Spain. His three ships can be seen in the background. Although they were not present at his actual departure, Ferdinand and Isabella are here shown sending Columbus off on his expedition. On a full sheet of German text (8.0 x 13.5").


Condition: B+

Nice impressions with some light toning.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $120

Closed on 4/28/2021