ATLANTIC

Azores

Canary Ids.

Cape Verde Ids.

Equatorial Africa Ids.

St. Helena

Ascension Ids.

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In general

[053] Columbus crossing the Atlantic: 1594
Columbus is seen here on the foredeck of his ship, with a quadrant for navigation in one hand and a sword for danger in the other. Guiding him across the mysteries of the sea towards the Americas, are Hercules, carrying a lily as the symbol of peace and Mars, the god of war on a turtle, drawn by four lions. Neptune and other mythical figures decorate the sea area. (In the engraving published in 1585 by Stradanus and Collaert, from which this illustration was derived, the figure on the foredeck was originally Amerigo Vespucci but is correctly shown here as Columbus: £275

[054] Flying fish and dolphins: 1592-3
Flying fish rose out of the sea and flew above the water for up to a hundred yards, at about the height of a long spear. Sometimes they hit the ship’s mast and, when they fell on deck, were easily caught. They were like herrings but longer and rounder, with small feathers under their throats and wings. Nowhere were they safe; under the water they were pursued by albacore and above, they were caught by seabirds. There were other strange fish too; one had a beak like a goose and another had a hole on top of its head for breathing and taking in water. When the sea was rough they came to the surface, so the sailors knew a storm was brewing: £110

[055] Title Page to the Fourth part of America: 1594
This introduces the account of Girolamo Benzoni’s ‘La Historia del Mondo Nuovo’, originally published in 1565. In particular, it deals with the voyages of Columbus whose three ships are shown below, sailing to America in 1492. The Indians he encountered, along with the flora of the New World, decoratively surround the title panel: £110

[056] The introduction to Ralegh’s voyage to Guiana: 1599 (rare)
This map shows in miniature the Atlantic Ocean, separating Europe fro the Americas. In 1595 Ralegh (he signed his name without an ‘i’ in it) set out from England with five ships for, what he later described in his book as, ‘The Discoverie of the Large, Rich, and Bewtiful Empire of Guiana …’, published in 1596). Below the title is a miniature map of the Atlantic, called ‘Mar del Nort’, with the landmasses of the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ worlds on either side. In the Guiana region, not named, is marked ‘Manoa’ – a mythical city where El Dorado, or the Golden One, was believed to have lived and which inspire so many abortive searches: £235

[412A]* ‘America Sive Novus Orbis’ 1596
Those people thought most significant in the discovery of the Americas are depicted in the four corners surrounding the Western Hemisphere. These are Christopher Columbus, who discovered America in 1492, Amerigo Vespucci, after whom America was named, Francisco Pizarro, who was largely responsible for destroying the Empire of the Incas, and Ferdinand Magellan, who discovered a route to the Pacific and after whom the Strait he took was named. The geography shows the limited extent of knowledge of the Americas at the time, particularly in the interior of the landmasses and to the North and South Poles. The fictitious ‘Tierra Australis’ to the south, was conjectured as being so vast, since otherwise it was thought the Earth would wobble off its axis. (33cm X 40 cm): £5,275


Azores

[057] A great storm in the island of Tercera: 1599
While van Linschoten was on the island of Tercera a great storm blew up. There were about one hundred and forty ships gathered together in the harbour, some of which belonged to the Spanish armada. They were all waiting to set sail from India. Before the tide had turned, the greatest storm in human history hit the island, with seas so tempestuous it made one dizzy as it was feared they would swallow the whole island. The storm raged for five days, and twelve of the ships were wrecked. We could hear cries for help and let down ropes from the cliff-top but no one took them, so many lives were lost at sea: £75

[057A]* View of the harbour town of Angra on the island of Terceira: 1601
A large and impressive birds-eye-view, showing the layout of the Portuguese town and fortified harbour at Angra in the Azores, with cultivated fields all around and mountains beyond. Many sailing ships are moored in the harbour and the engraving is decorated with strap-work title cartouche, two coats of arms, three panels of descriptive text and a large compass rose. (39cm X 55 cm): £385

Canary Islands

[058] The strange tree that rained in the Canary Islands: 1596-7 (scarce)
There was a legend that, in times of drought, a large tree at the top of a mountain, on Hierro in the Canaries, rained water. Because it so rarely rained on this island, water was in short supply so the natives used to climb up the mountain to catch water from this tree in earthenware pots. In fact, the clouds probably caused precipitation on the leaves and the water that dripped from them gave the impression that the tree itself was actually raining: £110

[059] The town of Alagona in Grand Canary was invaded by the Dutch: 1600 (scarce)
A: is the town of Allagona, B: its two fortresses, C: the great fortress of Grand, D: Spanish ships, E: the Dutch armada, F: the Dutch boats bringing their men to shore, G: seven groups of flags and Spanish soldiers, with whom the Dutch fort, H: the Spanish, with their canon behind the hill fighting bravely, I: the siege of the town, K: the mountain from where the Spanish inflicted damage on the invaders, L: the Spanish retreating, and finally, M: a ship in which the ‘Graine’ of Lazerotte fled. (Some restoration to right margin without loss): £175

[060] How the Dutch seized the island of Grand Canary: 1600 (scarce)
As soon as the Dutch armada had anchored near the island, their soldiers rowed ashore, ready to attack. The Spanish, with their seven groups of soldiers, each carrying a flag, fought bravely to defend themselves with muskets. The Dutch were forced to leave their boats and wade towards them, fighting fiercely. Eventually, the Spanish were defeated and fled towards the town, carrying with them their leader who had been badly shot in the leg. The Dutch then besieged the town with ease, also taking over the great fortress of Gratiosa, from which the Spanish had previously fired cannons, causing damage to the Dutch ships: £175

[061] The Dutch withdraw from the Grand Canary: 1600 (scarce)
After the Dutch had taken the town of Allagona, with its fortress, and made use of everything they found there, they retreated to their ships with all the booty they could find, along with the most distinguished citizens as captives. Before they left, they set fire to the churches and monasteries, while the great fortress of Gratiosa were simply blown up: £135

Cape Verde Islands

[062] Flying fish: 1627 (rare)
Sailors encountered flying fish while voyaging between the Cape Verde Islands and St. Vincent in the West Indies. They were said to be similar to herrings but somewhat longer and rounder and had wings like a bat. They could fly between 100 and 200 paces until their wings dried out, then they would drop back into the sea. Nowhere were they safe: in the air they were easy prey to birds and, in the water they were pursued by larger fish. (Engraving only, no text.): £110

[063] The English attack Praia in the Cape Verde Islands: 1599
On 16 November, 1585, during Francis Drake’s round-the-world voyage, his fleet anchored off Santiago (here called St. Jacob), near Praia in the Cape Verde Islands. A thousand men landed further along the coast and, under the command of Lieutenant-General Carleill, marched over mountain and through dale to attack Santiago from the rear. They easily took the town which had few defences at the rear, so the Spanish garrison fled. Since they found little of value, they burnt the town before continuing on their voyage to the West Indies: £110

[064] The Dutch attack the fortress at Praia: 1601-2
On 27th June 1589, Simon de Cordes left Holland with five ships, bound for the Magellan Straits. On reaching Santiago - one of the Cape Verde Islands, they decided to loot the fortress at Praia. This stood on top of a high rock whose only approach was by a narrow stairway with 175 steps. At the time the fortress was occupied by the Portuguese, under a Spanish commander. On landing, however, the Dutch were entertained by some of the Portuguese on the beach, while the others hid all their valuables. Later, when the Dutch took over the fortress they found nothing of value there: £45

[065] The Dutch are invited to visit the harbour at Santiago: 1601-2
While at Paria the Dutch were invited to visit the harbour, about two miles along the coast. On arrival, they found it fortified with Portuguese soldiers clad in armour behind ramparts along the sea front and at the water’s edge, they were well armed with cannons. However, on seeing how well guarded the harbour was, the Dutch decided it would be prudent to avoid serious loss at such an early stage of their voyage and so continued on their way without confrontation: £45

[066] The Dutch reach Brava:1601-2
After leaving Santiago, the Dutch sailed to the island of Brava in the southwest of the Cape Verde Archipelago. On arrival, the Dutch shouted to the Portuguese on shore that they had come to buy provisions. But the Portuguese said they had none and disappeared. When they went ashore the Dutch found all but one of the huts empty, which was where the Portuguese had stored their corn, so they loaded it aboard their ships before departing: $65

[067] Speilbergen’s experiences at Port Dale and Refrisco: 1605 (rare)
After reaching the Cape Verde Islands, the Admiral sailed in the smallest of his vessels to Port Daele but three Portuguese caravels, anchored in the harbour started firing at him, so he had to defend himself by returning the fire. He hit one of the Portuguese ships, so the other two came to its rescue. Then all three attacked the Dutch, who were forced to flee. When they arrived at Refrisco they were again attacked by some Blacks in canoes. At Port Dale, the admiral, who was wounded in both hands, was captured and robbed of all his clothes and possessions: £95

Equatorial African Islands

[068] Noort fights the Portuguese at Príncipe: 1602
When Captain Noort heard about the murders, he sent one hundred and fifty well-armed men ashore (B). They built a simple protection on the beach, near a river where they collected fresh water (C). The Portuguese (A) fought hard to stop them until eventually the Dutch were forced back to their ships. The indigenous people of the island wore simple clothes (D). The men carried spears and shields, while the women, carried curved swords. The Portuguese, however, had encouraged them to also wear necklaces with crosses in the name of Christianity: £45

[069] Oliver van Noort set out to circum-navigate the globe: 1602
On 2nd July, 1598, two of Noort’s ships left Rotterdam. On 13th September they were joined by two more ships off the coast of England. After some repairs in Plymouth they followed a difficult course round West Africa, eventually reaching the island of Principe on 10th December. On arrival, four of the crew went ashore with a white flag of truce. A Moor, also with a white flag, invited them to the Portuguese fortress, where they were entertained. By the time they realised the rest of their crew were not coming, it was too late and three of the Dutch were killed, although the fourth escaped to tell the tale: £45

[070] Weert wines and dines with the chief: 1602
Captain Weert and the chief ate modestly on roast plantain, smoked fish and wine fermented from palm, bought by a local woman. However, when Weert ordered Spanish wine to be brought from his ship, the chief forgot his temperance and drank so much he had to be carried to rest. Weert had to stay the night but returned to his ship in the morning. On the way back he was confronted by an ugly, naked woman carrying ashes in a box. After circling him three times and muttering incoherently, while tapping the box, she sprinkled the ash all over him and left. Later, on 8th December, 1598, the Dutch fleet departed: £45

[071] The island of St. Thomé: 1603 (rare)
In 1433, the Portuguese began exploring the coast of Africa and they discovered this island a few years later, in 1450. It has a circumference of 26 miles and lies just south of the Equator. The capital town is called Pottoasan, after the original name of the island. Originally it was believed to have been just jungle but now there were about 1,200 houses there: £110

Ascension Island

[072] View of Ascension Island: 1599-1601
This is a decorative little bird’s-eye view of the mountainous island of Ascension, which lies just off the coast of Angola. Flying fish and other aquatic creatures are shown in the foreground and sailing ships beyond. Two panels of text appear above and below, with strap work surrounds and an ornate compass rose to the right: £110

St. Helena

[073]* View of St. Helena Island: 1599-1601
This is a decorative bird’s-eye view of the island of St. Helena - to the west of Angola, showing six large sailing ships in the foreground, moored off the coast, with the mountainous island beyond. On the island itself, is marked a church and sparse trees, where the sailors landed. A large decorative coat of arms and title panel, with text, are shown above and a compass rose, showing north rotated, anticlockwise through 135 degrees, is shown in the sea area below. (21cm x28 cm): £215

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