Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 447

"[John Smith Is Caught by the French]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Bay of Biscay

Period: 1655 (published)

Publication: Historia Antipodum oder Newe Welt...

Color: Black & White

6.8 x 5.4 inches
17.3 x 13.7 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 dramatic engraving first appeared in Part X of de Bry's Grands Voyages in 1618, and was 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. It depicts John Smith escaping French pirates during a storm in a small rowboat. He was captured by a French vessel on his second attempt to return to New England in 1615. On a sheet of German text measuring 8.0 x 13.5".


Condition: B+

A dark impression with some light toning.

Estimate: $110 - $140

Sold for: $80

Closed on 4/28/2021