DONCK, Adriaen van der (1620-1655). Beschryvinge Van Nieuw-Nederlant, (Ghelijck tegenwoordigh in Staet is) Begrijpende de Nature, Aert, gelegentheyt en vruchtbaerheyt van het felve Lant, mitsgaders de proffijtelijcke ende gewenfte toevallen, die aldaer tot onderhout der Menschen, (soo uyt haer selven als van buyten ingebracht) gevonden worden... Amsterdam: Evert Nieuwenhof, 1655.
4o (191 x 148 mm). Half-page engraving of Fort New Amsterdam on B1r. (Some pale dampstaining to final two leaves.) Contemporary vellum (soiled); brown morocco pull-off case. Provenance: Conraad Cock (contemporary ownership signature on title); Henry F. De Puy (bookplate, his sale Anderson Galleries, 18 November 1919, lot 771, $950); Harris D. Colt (bookplate).
THE DE PUY COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EARLIEST ENGRAVED VIEW OF NEW YORK. "What the 'first folio' is to an English collector, a Van der Donck is to the American. When he has once screwed his courage to the price of a Van der Donck, he seldom flinches at any other rare work that may turn up" (Stevens).
The engraving which appears on B1r originally appeared in Beschrijvinghe van Virginia... (1651, Church 510) and is not found in the second edition of van der Donck's book (1652). "A large part of this work is taken up with a description of the natives of New Netherland. Van der Donck arrived in New Amsterdam in 1642. He served as sheriff of the colony of Rennselaerwyck, and purchased an estate on the Hudson near the site of the village of Yonkers. This treatise possesses an interest beyond its rarity, being the relation of an educated man regarding the Indians of the island and the neighborhood of New York" (Church). Beginning on page 52 is the section "Of the Manners and peculiar Customs of the Natives of the New-Netherlands." This is subdivided into twenty-two sections, each treating some of the peculiarities of the Indians of New York, ending on page 81.
In this copy *2 has 6 lines of text on the recto and 22 lines on the verso. *3 has 16 lines of text on the recto and 26 lines on the verso. According to JCB, this is the second issue, omitting some text from the first. Church notes that no other variations have been observed in the 1655 edition, and that these two leaves were probably cancelled, as the second edition is a very close reprint of this second issue. Church 535; Field 1594; JCB II:317, no. 801; Pilling Algonquian p. 115 ("Comments on the Manhattan, Minqua, Savanoos and Wappanoos"); Pilling Iroquoian p. 56; Sabin 20593 ("of the highest interest for the history of New York"). A FINE COPY WITH A DISTINGUISHED PROVENANCE.