This significant, historic volume is Theodor de Bry & Jacques Le Moyne’s Brevis Narratio eorum quae in florida Americae provi[n]cia Gallis acciderunt … quae est seconda pars Americae. It is the second part or volume of Grands Voyages which is considered one of the most remarkable collections of voyages published in the Age of Discovery. The work was published in Frankfurt by Theodor de Bry. The work began publishing in 1590 with this volume printed 1609.
The work includes engraved title, dedication leaf with engraved coat-of-arms, large hand-colored engraving of Noah’s Ark, hand-colored section title, letterpress title (dated 1609), folding engraved map of Florida, 42 leaves with 1/2 page engraved illustration and text to page printed on recto only. The work is bound in modern morocco gilt.
This is one of the most important volumes published on early North America. It features Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’s illustrations of Native Americans. The work described the earliest French settlements that would become the United States. The illustrations were after watercolors drawn first hand in the New World by Le Moyne on the mid-1560s expedition led by Jean Ribault and René Goulaine de Laudonnière. His illustrations of the Florida Indians are some of the most important visual records of American Indians and their culture before the 19th century.
It also features one of the most important published maps of Florida. The map was first printed with this text and one of the most detailed of the Florida peninsula available before the 16th century. John Matthew Baxter describes it as “…the most remarkable and important map, which has been preserved from the sixteenth century maps, of that part of the East Coast which lies between Cape Hatteras and Cape Florida … [It is] the first French map to show Florida … [and is] considered the most important map of Florida.” (Cumming & De Vorsey 14)
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher. He came from a family of jewelers and engravers, and faced persecution for his Lutheran faith during the Spanish Inquisition. De Bry would be most known for his engravings of the New World from Grands Voyages, a work which would reach 30 volumes in scope. He was inspired to create this work after meeting Richard Hakluyt in 1587, who had published his own collection of voyages.
De Bry’s landmark work depicted the early voyages and settlements in the Americas. His work greatly influenced the European view of the Americas for a long period of time. De Bry’s prints provide an important contemporary view of European conquest and settlement in early America. The images depict native customs, culture and warfare, and episodes in the history of European contact with these natives and their world. As Michael Alexander said, De Bry’s work “brought to the European public the first realistic visualization of the exotic world opened up across the Atlantic by the explorers, conquerors and settlers.” (Discovering the New World, p. 7)