"[Lot of 4] Vera Descriptio Regni Africani, quod tam Abincolis quam Lusitanis Congus Appellatur... [and] [The Inhabitants of Loango and the Anziques] [and] [Women's Fashion in the Congo] [and] [How the Congolese Men Dress]",
Subject: Congo, Natives
Period: 1598 (circa)
Color: Black & White
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.
A. Vera Descriptio Regni Africani, quod tam Abincolis quam Lusitanis Congus Appellatur..., published 1598 (7.2 x 10.6"). This is the beautiful title page for 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. It incorporates various Congolese figures into an elaborate architectural structure. At the top, two figures kneel before the sun and the moon. Condition: A nice impression on watermarked paper with some light soiling. The right margin has been trimmed close to the neatline, and both the left and right margins have been professionally extended with archival materials. (B+)
B. [The Inhabitants of Loango and the Anziques] De Regni Coangani Incolis & Anziquis..., from Petits Voyages Part I, published 1598 (7.0 x 5.4"). This engraving shows the natives of the kingdoms surrounding the Congo. According to Pigafetta's text, the Loango people carry shields and spears. The Anziques are allegedly cannibalistic; the engraving depicts one prepping human limbs with a short-handled axe. On a sheet of Latin text that measures 7.9 x 11.6". Condition: A crisp impression with a few spots outside the engraved image. (A)
C. [Women's Fashion in the Congo] Die Funsste Figur von der Weiber Tracht, from Petits Voyages Part I, published 1597 (7.0 x 5.4"). This engraving comes from the German edition of Petits Voyages Part I. It showcases the dress of Congolese women, showing the differences in style between an upper-class woman (left), a middle-class woman (center), and lower-class bonds-woman (right). A city appears in the background. On a sheet of German text that measures 7.9 x 12.2". Condition: On a lightly toned sheet with light foxing and a dampstain on the top edge, well away from engraved image. (B)
D. [How the Congolese Men Dress] Die Dritte Figur von der Kleidung der Manns Perfonen, from Petits Voyages Part I, published 1597 (6.9 x 5.4"). This engraving depicts the fashions of Congolese men against the backdrop of a city. At left is a nobleman with a beret, furs, fringed textiles, and a sword. The figure at right wears a wide-brimmed hat, an influence of the Portuguese. On a sheet of German text that measures 7.9 x 12.2". Condition: A nice impression on a lightly toned sheet with light soiling and staining that is mostly confined to the margins. (B+)
See description above.