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De Bry - "How the Incas wrought their Gold" 1596 - Benzoni - Lima

De Bry - "How the Incas wrought their Gold" 1596 - Benzoni - Lima

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"How the Incas wrought their Gold"

-Original Copperplate Engraving

-Theodore De Bry

-Page 9.5 x 13 inches (23 x 33cm)

-Image 8.5 x 6 inches (22 x 15cm)

-1596 (This image is from the Latin 1st Edition)

-Good condition - some mild toning and marks to page. 

-Verso blank

-More recent colour

This is an original plate from Part 6 of De Bry's famous set of "Grands Voyages". This part contained a description of the Americas by Girolamo Benzoni. A native of Milan, Benzoni spent 15 years (1541-1556) travelling through the Spanish Americas including the West Indies, Central America and South America, seeking his fortune. After a shipwreck on the journey home left him without the money he had accumulated, he had only his experiences to fall back on. These he published in 1565 with a dedication to the Pope. The work was soon re-published in multiple editions, the most well known of which is the finely illustrated series by De Bry, published in 1596.

This is plate 22 from the series, depicting how the Incas wrought their Gold 

The text for the plate reads:

The Goldsmiths of Huayna-Capac were master craftsmen who wrought gold into magnificent artefacts with the simplest of tools. They used clay furnaces, heated by coals and blown by many men using tubes, rather than bellows. When the gold was molten it was poured into ingots and wrought into all kings of ornamental objects, including plants, birds, fish and animals. It was said that the emperor had great feasts on the island of San Lorenzo, near Lima, with life sized gold artefacts decorating the banquets

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Theodore De Bry

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