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De Bry Rare Books

"Gutierrez searches for gold in Costa Rica" - De Bry - 1595

"Gutierrez searches for gold in Costa Rica" - De Bry - 1595

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"Gutierrez searches for gold in Costa Rica"

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

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


-Good condition 

-Verso blank

This plate comes from Benzoni's work which describes his 15 years on the isthmus of America, in Panama and Nicaragua.

Benzoni, an Italian, acted as a mediator between different nations. The work describes life of the first nations of Central America. Benzoni wrote at a time when the Spanish treatment of the Indians was a concern, and described the cruelty of the Spanish towards the Indians and African slaves - the famous "Black legend". The work is beautifully illustrated with engravings of the Native Americans and Spanish conquistadors. It including images of Nicaraguans dancing, how they held their markets, and made war, and of slaves being harshly treated.

The text reads:

"The Governor of Costa Rica, Diego Gutierrez, led an expedition into the interior in search of gold. He set off up the Suere River with soldiers from Guabito, and Benzoni and his nephew went with them. After the first six miles they set up camp but could only find turtle's eggs to eat. The Indians of the area brought them various alloyed gold ornaments, which amounted to about 700 ducats in value. In return, they were given rosary beads, which the governor said would save their souls"

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