Catalog Archive
Auction 198, Lot 258

Complete Set of De Bry's Native Virginians & Picts from Part I of Grands Voyages

"[Grands Voyages, Part I - 27 Plates of Virginia Natives & Picts]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Virginia, Native Americans

Period: 1608 (published)


Color: Black & White

9.4 x 12.9 inches
23.9 x 32.8 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 fascinating lot is a complete set of the 22 plates on Virginia Natives and 5 plates of Picts that were included in the second Latin edition of Part I of de Bry's Grands Voyages. Plate II is from the first Latin edition, but all other plates are from the second edition. This lot does not include the frontispiece of Adam and Eve, which was unnumbered but considered to be the first plate. Each of the plates is accompanied by Latin text either below the plate or on an opposing page, and all plates have blank versos. The plates depict:

II. The English arrive in Virginia
III. A Weroans, or Chieftain, of Virginia
IIII. One of the Chief Ladies of Secota
V. A Secota Priest
VI. A Young Gentlewoman of Secota
VII. A Chief of Roanoke
VIII. A Noblewoman of Pomeiock
IX. An Old Man in Winter Garb
X. How the Chief Ladies of Dasamonquepeio Carry their Children
XI. The Sorcerer
XII. How They Build Boats in Virginia
XIII. How They Catch Fish
XIIII. How They Cook their Fish
XV. How They Boil Meal in Earthenware Pots
XVI. How They Eat
XVII. Praying Around the Fire with Rattles
XVIII. The Dances at their Great Feasts
XIX. The Town of Pomeiock
XX. The Town of Secota
XXI. The Idol Kewas
XXII. The Tomb of the Weroans
XXIII. The Marks of the Chief Men of Virginia
I. Pictiicon
II. Fminae Pictaeicon
III. Virginis Pictaeicon
IIII. Alterius viri Pictis Viciniicon
V. Feminae Pictis Vicinaeicon



The plates are mostly in very good (B+) or near fine (A) condition with minor toning and soiling. Six of the plates are in good (B) condition: XVIII and XX have some edge chips that extend into the image; XIX has a small repaired hole with associated loss of image; XXI has moderate toning and foxing; and Pict plates II and IIII have some staining in the image. Plate XIII is in fair (C+) condition with heavy toning, an extraneous crease, and worm tracks in the image.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $4,000

Closed on 6/19/2024