Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 226

Complete Set of De Bry's Native Floridians from Part II

"[Grands Voyages, Vol. II] Brevis Narratio Eorum quae in Florida Americae Provicia...", Le Moyne/De Bry

Subject: Florida, Natives

Period: 1609 (published)


Color: Black & White

9.6 x 14.3 inches
24.4 x 36.3 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 is a disbound chapter of the first Latin edition of Volume II of De Bry's Grands Voyages, near complete but for the absence of the map Floridae Americae Provinciae Recens & Exactissima Descriptio... It includes 30 pages of Latin text, 2 titles pages, an index of plates, an armorial plate, an engraving of Noah's Ark, and the 42 classic plates on the Indigenous peoples of Florida. The plates are based on Le Moyne's famous drawings of the French colonial attempts in southeastern Florida in the 1560s. The additional engraving of Noah's ark precedes the text on Florida and seems to suggest a fantastical landing of the ark in the New World. Latin text below and blank versos with the exception of the plate of Noah and the ark, which has text on verso. The plates depict:

Noah's Ark
I) The Arrival of the French in Florida in 1562
II) The French Discover the River of May (St. Johns)
III) The French Discover Two Other Rivers
IV) They Discover Six More Rivers
V) The French Reach Port Royal
VI) The French Erect a Column with the Royal Coat of Arms
VII) Those Left Behind Run Short of Food
VIII) The Indians Worship the Column Erected by the French
IX) A Site for the Fort Is Chosen
X) Fort Caroline
XI) Satouriona Prepares for Battle
XII) Consulting a Sorcerer
XIII) The French Help Outina Fight the Patanou
XIV) How Outina's Army Marches to War
XV) How the Indians Treated the Corpses of Their Enemy
XVI) Indian Victory Ceremonies
XVII) The Duties of the Hermaphrodites
XVIII) How the Widows Petition Their Chief
XIX) How the Widows Lament at the Burial Grounds
XX) How the Indians Treat Their Sick
XXI) How the Indians Till the Soil
XXII) Collecting Crops for the Communal Storehouse
XXIII) Collecting Game for the Communal Storehouse
XXIV) How the Indians Preserved Game
XXV) How the Indians Hunt Deer
XXVI) Killing Alligators
XXVII) How the Floridians Go Swimming from Island to Island
XXVIII) Preparing for a Feast
XXIX) An Indian Council Meeting
XXX) A Fortified Indian Village
XXXI) Setting Fire to the Enemy’s Village
XXXII) How a Sentry Was Treated for Negligence
XXXIII) How the Indians Declare War
XXXIV) The Sacrifice of the First-Born Son
XXXV) A Harvest Offering
XXXVI) How the Young Men Were Trained
XXXVII) A Bride Is Carried to the Chief
XXXVIII) The Chief Receives His Bride
XXXIX) The Chief (Satouriona) and His Wife Go for a Stroll
XL) How the Chief Is Buried
XLI) How the Indians Collect Gold from the Streams
XLII) The Murder of the Frenchman, Pierre Gambie

This chapter appears to be compiled primarily from two different examples of the Latin edition of 1609. The two title pages, armorial plate, Noah's ark plate, text, and first 14 plates are from a single example, bound in three signatures. Although the first title page states 1591, the second title page states 1609, so it is likely that the first title page was taken from old stock. Plates XV, XVI, and XVII are from an unknown example, as they are loose and slightly different sheet sizes. Plates XVII through XLII are still bound together, but are a slightly different sheet size from the beginning of the chapter, and therefore likely from a different example.

References: Van Groesen (De Bry's America) pp. 92-145.


The plates themselves are generally nice impressions and range in condition from A to B, with faint to moderate toning (mostly outside of the image), occasional soiling, and a couple instances of red manuscript ink appearing in the engraved image or in the text below. The first 13 plates have dampstaining along the bottom of the sheets, with a few worm tracks in the text below the plates, most of which have been professionally infilled. The edges of the sheet of Plate XV have been remargined on three sides, not affecting the engraving or text. The title page, armorial plate, Noah's ark plate, and text are in B condition, with moderate toning and some dampstaining.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,250

Sold for: $2,500

Closed on 2/7/2024