These engravings are all over 400 yeas old! They illustrate early European voyages and travels to hitherto unknown parts of the world and are among the earliest copperplate images ever published. They reveal the diverse customs and cultures of people who lived in distant parts of the world but they also tell a story of discovery, greed, exploitation and bitter rivalry among the nations and religions of Europe during the earliest years of colonial expansion. This website represents a lifetime’s collection of these engravings, and it is offered herewith to the discerning viewer as a unique opportunity that can never be repeated, so it’s first come, first served.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF PLACES
|Argentina||Ecuador||Java (& Jakarta)||Portugal|
|Ascension Islands||El Salvador||Lapland (inc. Norway & Northeast Passage)||Puerto Rico|
|ATLANTIC||Equatorial Africa Islands||Madagascar||Rangoon (inc. Burma)|
|Azores||EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST||Molucca (inc. Sulawesi & Banda Sea)||St. Helena|
|Bahamas||FAR EAST & PACIFIC||Mauritius||St. Lucia|
|Bali||Florida (inc. Georgia & South Carolina)||Mexico||Santo Domingo (inc. Hispanioola & Haiti)|
|Banda Sea (inc. Molucca & Sulawesi)||France||MIDDLE EAST||Seychelles|
|Benin||Gabon||Mozambique||South Carolina (inc. Florida & Georgia)|
|Bolivia||Georgia (inc. Florida & South Carolina)||Netherlands||SOUTH AMERICA|
|Brazil||Gold Coast||NORTH AMERICA||Spain|
|Britain||Guadeloupe (& Dominica)||North Carolina (inc. Virginia)||Sri Lanka|
|Burma (inc. Rangoon)||Guayana (inc. Venezuela)||Northeast Passage (inc. Norway & Lapland)||Sulawesi (inc. Molucca & Banda Sea)|
|Calicut||Guinea||Norway (inc. Lapland, & Northeast Passage)||Sumatra|
|California||Haiti (inc. Hispaniola & Santo Domingo)||PACIFIC||Tierra del Fuego|
|Canary Islands||Hispaniola (inc. Haiti and Santo Domingo)||Palawan (inc. Philippines)||Trinidad|
|Cape Verde Islands||India||Panama||Venezuela (inc. Guayana)|
|CENTRAL AMERICA||INDIAN SUBCONTINENT||Paraguay||Virginia (inc. North Carolina)|
|China||Jakarta (& Java)||Peru||WEST INDIES|
|Cochin||Jamaica||Philippines (inc. Palawan)|
|Dominica (& Guadeloupe)|
All the images are genuine antique copperplate engravings, published in the years specified in the descriptions. They were the work of a sixteenth century, Flemish goldsmith and engraver, called Theodore de Bry, who was born in 1528, of Protestant parentage, in present-day Belgium. [Please check ‘Wikipedia’, for more information about Theodore de Bry.] As he grew up under the increasing influence of Catholic Spain, controls for heresy began to be imposed by the infamous ‘Council of Blood’ upon the Protestant peoples of Flanders. Consequently, de Bry was obliged to escape persecution and eventually settle in Frankfurt, Germany, where he began publishing these engravings in 1590 and where his two sons continued his good work.
The items described and illustrated here are all genuine original antique prints. They are therefore not re-issues, reprints or modern facsimiles. They were printed on hand-made paper: typically about 25-30 cm high by 20 -25 cm wide but those of larger format are marked with asterisks, and their sizes are shown at the end of their descriptions. They comprise of two distinct printing processes, carried out on different machines and possibly also in different workshops. The illustrations themselves were impressed from engraved copperplate images, while the titles above the illustrations and the descriptive texts below, either in Latin or German with illuminated initial letters, and were printed in letterpress as shown in the examples below.
** Although only the engravings are illustrated, here below the typical layout
of the Latin and German titles and texts are included in most
of these engravings.
Click mage above for larger view
Most of the descriptions given here are based on translations of these texts but, for reasons of clarity or historical interest, some have been corrected, added to or up-dated. By today’s standards, some of the descriptions may seem quaint or even fantastic but they convey the limited understanding and knowledge that Europeans had at that time, of these hitherto unknown peoples and their diverse cultures, when first they were discovered.
Condition and Authenticity
The way to recognise the age of a genuine antique engraving, printed on hand-made paper, is to hold it up to the light and you will see white parallel ‘laid-lines’, like watermarks, about 2-3cms apart, running along the length of the paper where it had originally been laid out upon wires to dry. Either side of these laid-lines you will see a browning effect, which is a measure of aging and cannot be faked - even in modern hand-made paper. The prices are all based on these items being in good condition and not damaged, although the blank margins or edges to the paper leaves themselves may be uneven or contain minor nicks or tears, not affecting the printed images. For the sake of protection in transit, they will be sent flat-packed* and lightly tacked with archival tape between modern, acid-free window mounts and backboards, and a guarantee of authenticity will accompany every purchase. As such, they make prestigous wall-decorations for the home, office or boardroom. No matter where displayed, they are sure to generate curiosity, fascination and interest.
* Some of the larger items will be sent, carefully rolled inside strong cardboard tubes.
How to order
Please check first by emailing HERE. You only need quote the reference number(s) of the item(s) you are interested in and I will immediaterly let you know about availability and give you a condition report. Then, if you still want to buy the item(s), let me know your mailing address, and your order will be sent to you at that address immediately I have been notified of your receipt of payment by PayPal. All the prices are quoted in British Pounds Sterling (£) [See ‘Currency Converter’.] The cost of packing and postage will be £30 anywhere in the World fully insured. To all overseas countries, transit usually takes about one week.
Prices subject to change, please email.
A framing service is available on request.