Catalog Archive
Auction 187, Lot 374

"[The Wonderful Vision They Saw in the Sky] XL. Phoenomenon in Coelo. Ursus Immanis Captus", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Arctic Ocean

Period: 1601 (circa)

Publication: Petits Voyages, Part III

Color: Black & White

7 x 5.5 inches
17.8 x 14 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.

This engraving depicts a striking scene from William Barents' travels in the Arctic. It exhibits a fascinating contrast between beauty and brutality: in the backdrop is the aurora borealis, depicted as three suns ringed in rainbows, while in the foreground, the crew fights with a polar bear. On a sheet of Latin text 8.0 x 12.1".


Condition: A

A crisp impression on watermarked paper with a few small spots.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $110

Closed on 4/27/2022