Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 196

"[Mourning the Death of a Chief] Was sie fur Ceremonien in Begrabniss Irer Konige und Priester Haben", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Florida, Natives

Period: 1591 (published)

Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II

Color: Black & White

8.3 x 6 inches
21.1 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 illustrates the burial mound of a chief. The villagers are gathered around the tomb that is decorated with arrows and the chief's drinking shell cup. The mourners cut their hair as a sign of mourning. In the background three special women are seen howling the morning cries and the chief's home is being burnt with all possessions inside. On sheet with German text measuring 9.3 x 13.1".


Condition: B+

There is light toning, marginal soiling, and a small hole along the top edge of the engraving.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $140

Closed on 6/9/2021