All the antique engravings shown on this web-site are from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by a copperplate engraver, Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. These publications eventually totalled 57 separate parts, containing over 500 different copperplate engravings.
They became known collectively as the Grands and Petits Voyages. The Grands Voyages dealt principally with the voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to America, whereas the Petits Voyages, which were in a slightly smaller format, dealt with those voyages of discovery and travels of exploration, principally to other parts of the world.
De Bry died after the first seven parts of the Grands Voyages had appeared in print but the copperplate engravings were to be continued initially by his two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his grand son-in-law, Mattheüs Merian.
All the de Bry prints illustrated here are of great importance, not only as historical documents but also because they were among the first copperplate engravings ever published to illustrate early voyages of discovery, and travels of exploration. This, therefore, is a rare opportunity for the viewer to purchase 400 year-old examples of these small folio sheets.
They each contain a de Bry copperplate engraving illustrating events in the early voyages of discovery, or travels of exploration, along with its title above and descriptive text, either in Latin or German, below.
For ease of viewing, the copperplate engravings have been grouped into the geographical categories shown in blue to the left of this text.