Les singularitez de la France Antarctique
Les singularitez de la France Antarctique
Les singularitez de la France Antarctique
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Les singularitez de la France Antarctique
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Les singularitez de la France Antarctique

ANDRÉ THEVET, 1558

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Les singularitez de la France Antarctique
André Thevet, 1558
THEVET, André (1502-1590). Les singularitez de la France Antarctique, autrement nommée Amerique, & de plusieurs Terres & Isles decouvertes de nostre temps. Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1558.

The Brinley copy of an essential source on the Native peoples of Brazil—one of the earliest American iconographies. The second edition, after the first published in Paris by Maurice de la Porte the previous year. Thevet accompanied Villegagnon as a chaplain on his expedition to establish a French colony in South America. "Thevet is to a certain extent one of the first writers to confront the dilemma … [that] his traditional scientific training and the categories of European thought are insufficient, even inadequate, to the understanding of this new reality" (Marcondes). His account includes the first European depictions of South American species such as sloths, anteaters, and the toucan and the illustrations were a major influence on writers like de Bry and Gesner. The latter's woodcuts are actually based on those in this Plantin edition—possibly why, according to Church, it was long thought to be the first. This work also provides one of the earliest descriptions of Canada, along with the first printed depiction of cigar smoking. Church suggests that this information comes from Cartier, while others have speculated that Thevet stopped in Canada on his journey back to France. Church 108; JCB (3) I:202; Sabin 95440; Streeter sale 21. See Danilo Marcondes, “The Anthropological Argument: The Rediscovery of Ancient Skepticism in Modern Thought,” in Skepticism in the Modern Age, pp. 46-48.

Octavo (170 x 101mm). Printer's device on title, woodcuts in text (first leaf a little soiled and strengthened with repair to blank corner, light dampstaining at edges, a few other stains). 19th-century purple morocco by Hayday, edges gilt. Custom chemise and box. Provenance: "Johannes Hortensius Sacrocaesariensis Medicus" (a doctor of Sancerre, France; inscription) – George Brinley (1817-1875; his sale, 10 March 1879, lot 150).

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