BRY, Theodor de (1528-1598) and Johann Theodor de BRY (1561-1623). [Great Voyages.] Frankfurt: Johann Wechel, Johann Feyerabendt, Matthias Becker and Wolfgang Richter for Theodor de Bry, 1590-1601.
Parts I-IX in 3 volumes, 2° (350 x 250mm), with the 'Additamentum' to part VIII, but without the 'Additamentum' to part IX. 12 engraved decorative title-pages (10 with German titles printed onto overslips), 4 typographic title-pages with engraved maps or vignettes, 5 dedication leaves with engraved arms and 2 full-page engraved plates of arms, 4 typographic part- or section-titles, 7 double-page engraved maps (3 folding), one full-page engraved map, full-page engraved plate 'Adam und Eva' to part I, repeated in part III, signed 'Theodore de Brij fe' not 'se', 2 folding engraved plates, one double-page engraved view, 9 full-page engraved plates, and 221 engraved text-illustrations. ('Additamentum' to part VIII bound in volume III in the middle of part IX, just before 'Historische Relation', spotting and browning throughout, heavy to parts II-V, tear to vertical fold and fore-edge, but without loss, to plate XVIII in part I, engraved title to part V with marginal loss at fore-edge and small chip into image, minor expert repairs to edges of map of Guiana at end of part VIII.) Contemporary flexible vellum, gilt lettering pieces to spines, copper section tabs (lacking ties, labels and extremities lightly rubbed, very short crack to spine of vol. I, light scattered spotting and staining to covers); modern cloth boxes. Provenance: ANTON FUGGER (1552-1616, gilt armorial stamps to upper covers dated 1586) -- gilt armorial stamps probably of a bishop to rear covers with a charge of a crowned column flanked by a pair of affronted crowned lions, the shield beneath an ecclesiastical hat with single tassles, a cross and a crosier (name or motto erased in all three cases, arms erased on first two vols) -- Bibliothek Schloss Dyck (?stamps removed; sold by Venator & Hanstein, 14 December 1992, lot 76).
FIRST GERMAN EDITIONS OF DE BRY'S 'GREAT VOYAGES' DEDICATED TO THE AMERICAS, WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL PROVENANCE. De Bry was born at Liège into a family of engravers active in the Low Countries and Germany. By 1570 he had left the city as a Protestant refugee, and his peregrinations took him in 1586-7 to London. There, he engraved a depiction of the elaborate funeral procession of Sir Philip Sidney. At the same time he met the geographer Richard Hakluyt (1552?-1616), and illustrated his English translation of Thomas Hariot's Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1590). Upon his return to Frankfurt, de Bry started to produce his 'Great Voyages' (so named after the format) relating to North and South America, as well as his 'Small Voyages' regarding the East Indies and Africa. Although his intention was to publish in Latin, English, French and German, only part I of the 'Great Voyages' was published in all four languages, with the rest issued in Latin and German only.
De Bry's time in London was to heavily influence his 'Great Voyages'. Part I was originally meant to have been a description of Florida illustrated by engravings of Jacques le Moyne's drawings. However, Walter Raleigh persuaded de Bry to devote this first part to Virginia in order to promote colonisation, and the description of the French expedition and the Florida tribes appeared as part II. Part VIII (published after de Bry's death) focuses on the English voyages to Guiana, and the title-page to the 'Additamentum' has a fine engraved map of Francis Drake's circumnavigation (Shirley 219).
Cartographically the 'Great Voyages' are very significant (the Virginia map in part I, present in this copy in the extremely rare third state, is discussed in lot 14; Burden 76). A fine double-page engraved map of North and South America appears in part VI, 'America sive novus orbis respectu europaeorum inferior globi terrestris pars 1596'. Although largely derived from Petrus Plancius' world map of 1594, this is its only appearance in the first editions of the 'Great Voyages', and was to set a new standard and style in cartography: 'This beautifully engraved map follows the style de Bry was becoming known for; he was one of the major influences encouraging the full decoration of maps. Right through the noted Dutch period this fashion was to become prevalent' (Burden 91).
The armorial stamps on the binding show that these volumes belonged to Anton Fugger, Herr von Hainhofen (1552-1616). Anton was grandson of Raymond Fugger (1489-1535); his great-uncle was Anton Fugger (1493-1560). This Anton had inherited from his childless uncle, Jacob Fugger the Rich (1459-1525), some 2,032,652 guilders worth of Fugger company assests. Forming a business triumvirate with their cousin Hieronymous Fugger, Anton and Raymond expanded their trade throughout Europe and into the New World, establishing trade and mining concerns in Brazil, Mexico and the West Indies. It would therefore be natural that the grandson born into the Fugger dynasty with international business interests would own a detailed account of the history and the colonies of the Americas. UNSOPHISTICATED COPIES IN CONTEMPORARY BINDINGS ARE EXTREMELY RARE. Church 176, 179, 181, 183, 186, 188, 191, 194, 195; Sabin III, pp.49ff. (3)