Bry, Theodor de, Johann Theodor de, and Johann Israel de | The Perrette set of the most influential of all collections of voyages
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Bry, Theodor de, Johann Theodor de, and Johann Israel de
[The Great and Small Voyages]. Frankfurt and Oppenheim: Theodor de Bry and his heirs, 1590-1624
The Perrette set of the Latin edition of the most famous and influential of all collections of voyages
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) first began the publication of this astounding collection of voyages following a visit to England in 1587. There he met the geographer Richard Hakluyt, who was then preparing his own depiction of voyages in the New World, and de Bry grew interested in the work. Hakluyt convinced him to publish his own collection of voyages; in support of this project, he helped de Bry to find representations of the Americas and gave him, once it was published, a copy of Hariot’s Virginia—which would become the first part of the Great Voyages, published in 1590.
He would go on to publish the next five parts from 1591 until his death in 1598. Following his death, his widow and sons, Johann Theodor and Johann Israel de Bry, continued his monumental work, issuing Parts VII and VIII in 1599 and Part IX in 1602. The latter was presumably intended to be the final part of the Great Voyages—given its title, Nona & postrema Pars—but Johann Theodor resumed the series seventeen years later, issuing Parts X and XI in 1619 and 1620, respectively, and de Bry’s heirs would go on to complete the series.
The works were astoundingly popular and influential, and the iconography disseminated through de Bry's compilation of travel narratives dominated the European view of the New World and the East Indies for more than a century after their publication. The exceptional ethnographic engravings in the first two parts are of special importance for the study of Native American life at the time of the first encroachment of Europeans. Throughout the set, however, many engravings include images of flora, fauna, and topography that provide interesting details about the way America looked in the sixteenth century and the way Europeans saw her.
The present set, assembled close to the publication date and in a striking contemporary binding, lacks only the final part of the Great Voyages, published in 1634, and the final two parts of the Small Voyages, published in 1619 and 1628. As most of the sets that appear at auction are typically in later bindings and compiled out of various copies, this set is both truly remarkable and rare.
The Great Voyages: 2 volumes, folio (342 x 235 mm). In Latin, Parts I-XII (of 13); dampstaining to head of first volume, small uniform hole at foot affecting Parts III-VI, browning and mild staining throughout not affecting maps. In contemporary German uniform blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, covers with central panel of the Virgin and Child and elaborate blind-stamped floral borders, spines with raised bands in 7 compartments, first compartments lettered in ink, brass clasps; bindings rubbed, clasps of the first volume renewed, modern endpapers.
Part I. [Hariot, Thomas]. Admiranda Narratio fida tamen, de commodis et incolarum ritibus Virginiae, 1590. Frankfurt: Johann Wechel, 1590. First edition, first issue. Engraved title surround, dedicatory coat of arms, folding map of Virginia, Adam and Eve plate, 27 engraved plates, 2 of which folding, with blank leaf after plate 23; title-page and a2-4 from another copy, being a second issue, upper corner of plate 18 cleanly restored, repaired tear along fold of map of Virginia, pencil to foot of d1. Church 140.
Part II. [Le Moyne, Jacques, et al.]. Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae provincia Gallis acciderunt..auctore Jacobo le Moyne. Frankfurt: Johann Wechel, 1591 . Second edition. Engraved title surround, engraved title to plates, dedicatory coat of arms, folding map of Florida, engraved illustration to the Reader leaf, 42 engraved plates after Le Moyne; H5-I1 with chips at upper corners, one with partial restoration. Church 146.
Part III. [Staden, Hans, and Jean Lery]. Americae tertia pars memorabile provinciae Brasiliae historiam contines ... scriptum a Ioane Stadio. Frankfurt: Theodor de Bry, 1602. Second edition. Engraved title surround, dedicatory coat of arms, plate of arms with virtues, folding map of South America, 46 engraved illustrations, Adam and Eve plate on p. 144. Church 150/151.
Part IV. [Benzoni, Girolamo, part I]. Americae pars quarta scripta ab Hieronymo Bezono. Frankfurt: Ad invistiss. Rudolphus II, 1594. First edition, second issue. Engraved title surround, engraved title to plates, plate of the arms with virtues, 2 illustrations of Columbus and ‘Americae Retectio’, double-page folding map of the West Indies, 24 plates, with blank leaves F6 and R6. Church 154.
Part V. [Benzoni, Girolamo, part II]. Americae pars quinta. Frankfurt: Theodore de Bry, 1595. First edition. Engraved title surround, engraved title to plates, portrait illustration of Columbus, folding map of Mexico, 22 plates, with blank leaves l3, l4, and F4; short closed tear to margin of plate title, not affecting plate. Church 156.
Part VI. [Benzoni, Girolamo, conclusion]. Americae pars sexta. Frankfurt: Theodore de Bry, 1596. First edition. Engraved title, engraved title to plates without pasted label, folding map of the Americas and folding view of Cusco appearing after title, 28 plates; restoration at foot of B1 not affecting text, short closed tear to head of A1 not affecting text, lacking the terminal blank. Church 158.
Part VII. [Schmidel, Ulrich]. Americae pars VII. Verissima et iucundissima descriptio praecipuarum quarundam Indiae regionum & insularum. Frankfurt: Theodore de Bry, 1599. First edition. Engraved title surround, engraved illustration, H4 a blank; upper margin of title trimmed with slight loss, A2-3 browned, chip to lower corner of A3. Church 161.
Part VIII. [Drake, Francis, Thomas Cavendish, and Walter Raleigh]. Americae pars VIII continens primo, descriptionem trium itinerum. Frankfurt: Widow & Sons of Theodore de Bry, 1599. First edition, second issue. Title with engraved vignette map of the world showing Drake's circumnavigation, folding map of Guiana, engraved map of the world on leaf 2K4 showing Cavendish’s circumnavigation, engraved map of North Atlantic on leaf Aa2, 18 plates, 4 with numbers, E4 a blank. Church 164.
Part IX. [Acosta, Joseph, et al]. Americae nona & postrema pars. Frankfurt: For Mathias Becker, 1602. First edition. Engraved title surround, dedicatory arms of Christian II, 2 section title vignettes, map of the straits of Magellan, 39 plates, last 2 plates tipped in on later guards, 2Y5 and 3d4 blanks; Relatio Historica (AA1-GG4) bound at the end following the final plates, final plate with neat restoration at foot not affecting print, short closed tear to foot of aa2, lower corner of cc2 chipped. Church 168.
Part X. [Vespucci, Amerigo, Ralph Hamor, and John Smith]. Americae pars decima … Oppenheim: Hieronymi Galleri, 1619. First issue. Title with engraved vignette, folding Mar di India chart misplaced from part XI following the title, 12 plates, I4 and C4 are blanks; C3 with slight loss to margin, b2 and b3 chipped at lower corners. Church 170.
Part XI. [Schouten, Willem, and Joris van Spilbergen]. Americae pars undecima: Seu description admirandi intineris a Guillielmo Schouten … peracti. Oppenheim: Hieronymi Galleri, 1619-. Title with engraved vignette, map of the straits of Magellan tipped on to later guard (same as that of part IX), 2 folding maps of New Guinea and the South Sea (map of Mar di India bound in the previous part), 29 plates, F6, D6 and e6 are blanks; slight loss to corner of a1, short closed tear to foot of b1, the sixth plate with large spots. Church 172.
Part XII. [Herrera, Antonio, et al.]. Novi orbis pars duodecima … Frankfurt: for heirs of Johann Theodor de Bry, 1624. Engraved title surround, 14 maps from Herrera, map of America supplied from another copy and inserted on guards at G2, 19 illustrations, CC8 a blank; lower margin of inserted map trimmed. Church 173.
The Small Voyages: 2 volumes, folio (305 x 200 mm). In Latin, Parts I-X (of 12); light browning and spotting, very occasional stains. In contemporary German uniform blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, tooled to match that of the Great Voyages, spines with raised bands in 6 compartments, first compartments lettered in ink, brass clasps; bindings rubbed.
Part I. [Pigafetto, Filippo]. Vera description regni Africani. Frankfurt: Wolffgangus Richter, 1598. First edition. Engraved title surround, dedicatory arms, folding map of Africa on 2 sheets, folding map of the Congo, title-page to plates, 14 plates, H6 and Dd4 are blanks; margin of title trimmed with only very slight loss, fold of the map of Africa repaired and reinforced. Church 205.
Part II. [Linschoten, Jan Huygen van]. II. Pars Indiae orientalis in qua Iohan. Hugonis Lintscotani. Frankfurt: Wolffgangi Richteri, 1599. First edition. Engraved title surround, portrait of Linschoten, plate of coins, 2 folding maps, 39 plates, P4 a blank; plan of Goa absent (misplaced in part III), map of Sumatra with repaired closed tear and a fold at the foot. Church 207.
Part III. [Linschoten, Jan Huygen van, Cornelis de Houtman, and Gerrit de Veer]. Tertia pars Indiae Orientalis. Frankfurt: Mattheaus Beckerus, 1601. First edition. Engraved title surround, plan of Goa from part II inserted before A1, 3 folding maps, 61 engraved plates, plate [LX] present but not folding, including double-page view of St Helena and map of Nova Zembla on verso of plate 58, **4, X6, and q5 are blanks; title with chip to lower corner barely affecting engraving, plan of Goa with small separation at one fold, chip and short closed tear to lower corner of C3, plate XXXII with a pinhole at head and small separation at one fold, plan of Agra and map Descriptio Hydrographica supplied from another copy and tipped in on guards, the former with two small separations where tipped in, the latter reinforced on verso. Church 208.
Part IV. [Linschoten and Houtman, concluded]. Pars quarta Indiae Oreinatlis. Frankfurt: Matthaeum Becker, 1601. Engraved title surround, 21 plates; light dampstaining to title. Church 211.
Part V. [van Neck, Jacob Corneliszoon, and Wybrand van Warwijck]. Quinta pars Indiae Orientalis. Frankfurt: Matthaeum Becker, 1601. Engraved title surround, 20 plates, )(4 and c6 are blanks; wormhole affecting D3-E2. Church 212.
Part VI. [Guinea]. Indiae Orientalis pars VI. Frankfurt: Wolffgangi Richteri, 1604. First edition, second issue. Title with engraved vignette, dedicatory arms, 26 leaves, )(4 and G4 are blanks; hole and short closed tears to H3 costing 2 words on each page. Church 214.
Part VII. [Spilbergen, Joris von, and Casparo Balby]. Indiae Orientalis pars septima. Frankfurt: Wolffgangi Richteri, 1606. First issue. Engraved title surround, dedicatory arms of Archbishop Schwichardt, 22 plates, 2 of which double-page, Q4 and g6 are blanks; chip to upper corner of dedicatory arms, short closed tear to head of e1 not affecting print. Church 216.
Part VIII. [van Neck, Jacob Corneliszoon, Jan Harmensz van Bree, Cornelius Nicolas, Cornelis Claesz, Steven van der Hagen]. Indiae Orientalis pars octava. Frankfurt: Wolffgangi Richteri, 1607. First issue. Engraved title surround, 18 plates, 3 of which double-page, O6 a blank; dampstaining to A3 not affecting plate, short closed tear to foot of A4, light dampstaining to B2 and B3 affecting plates, small chip to foot of Plate XVIII not affecting print. Church 218.
Part IX. [Verhoeff, Pieter Willemszoon]. Indiae Orientalis pars IX. Frankfurt: Wolffgangi Richteri, 1612-. First issue. Engraved title surround, double-page map of Insula S. Helena following A4, double-page map of Mozambique following B4, second title with engraved vignette, third title with engraved map vignette, 17 plates, F6 and L6 are blanks; worming at outer margin of F2-L5, plates browned, closed tear to b3 not affecting plate, plate title and second set of plates misbound before the fourth title and text. Church 220, Crawford, p. 179.
Part X. [Hudson, Henry and Jan Huygen van Linschoten]. Indiae Orientalis pars X. Frankfurt: Matthiae Backeri, 1613. First edition. Engraved title surround, 3 folding maps, 3 plates; maps possibly supplied from another copy, third map with short separation at foot of one fold, small wormhole at outer margin. Church 222.
Church 140, 146, 150/151, 154, 156, 158, 161, 164, 168, 170, 172, 173, 205, 207, 208, 211, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220, 222; Crawford, Collations and Notes No 3 Grands et Petits Voyages of de Bry, pp. 105-154, pp. 159-182
Albert Barbet (front endpapers of The Small Voyages signed with catalogue number) — Jean R. Perrette (Christies New York, 5 April 2016, lot 442)
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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