Catalog Archive
Auction 188, Lot 220

"[How the Indians Burn Their Enemies' Villages] Hostium Oppidanoctuincendendi Ratio", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Florida, Natives

Period: 1591 (circa)

Publication: Grands Voyages, Vol. II

Color: Black & White

8.3 x 6.1 inches
21.1 x 15.5 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 scene shows how Indians sets fire to an enemy town. They approach silently in the middle of the night, and if the watchman is asleep, they attach dry moss to the arrow tip, light it, and shoot at the roofs of the houses (which are made of dry palm leaves). As soon as the roofs catch fire, they run away quickly so as not to be detected. On a sheet of Latin text measuring 9.0 x 12.5".

References: Taschen (de Bry) p. 132.

Condition: A

A dark impression on a clean sheet. Trimmed close on the right side by the binder.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $100

Closed on 6/22/2022