Our antique map collection includes the work of some of the most important contributors to cartographer and history. One such person is Theodor De Bry whose work was instrumental in creating a visual representation of European explorations and conquests. Adina Sommer Antique and Contemporary Art collection includes some of De Bry’s most rare works. One such work is the America, Das ist, the cover of the summary of his voyages.
Theodor De Bry is recognized in history for his important contributions to Europeans’ visual understanding of the people of the New World. At the time, his antique maps provided the most accurate illustrations of the artifacts, customs, and cultures of the American Indians. The illustrations also provided insights into the interaction between the people of the New World and European explorers, conquerors and settlers. De Bry’s illustrations had a great deal of realism incorporated in them and this separated his work from others. Groesen (2007) wrote that because of the “size, number, and the quality of the engraving(s), De Bry volumes were unprecedented.”
De Bry was a trained goldsmith and engraver who established a printing business in England. The Paul Getty Museum stated that De Bry and his sons are responsible for the illustration of ten volumes of American travel literature published from 1590 to 1618. His collection was more inclusive than others before him as Groesen (2007) stated that De Bry strayed away from the norm and created a collection that had 40% Dutch accounts, 15% English narratives with Italian, French, German, and Spanish being represented at least twice.
This antique historical map from Adina Sommer is the title page of the rare edition of De Bry’s summary of his great voyages. The antique illustration shows a map of America and 13 pictures of the travels and conquests of the American continent. This very rare historical illustration is available from Adina Sommer as a 30 x 20.5 copper print in the original color. This rare map is evident of De Bry’s craftsmanship and illustrations and provides a good representation of his work.
As fascinating as De Bry’s craftsmanship and illustrations are, he has been criticized for incorporating his own biases in his works. Many of his critics believed that his religious bias influenced his representations of the people of the New World. De Bry’s work has however remained important to history. To see more historical maps from Theodor De Bry please visit www.asommer.de.