Theodor de Bry (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609), Part III, Plate 43, Two Bears which Approached the Ship and what Happened to Them
Johann Theodor de Bry (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609).
Part III, Plate 43, Two Bears which Approached the Ship and what Happened to Them.
Plate XLIII, Bon zween Baren welche fich zu un serem schiff
From the "Little Voyages"
Published: Frankfurt, 1599 (first edition)
Engraving with original, early 17th century hand color heightened with gold on laid paper
Paper size: 11 1/2 x 7 3/4 in.
POLAR BEARS ATTACK THE CREW
This illustration shows the Dutch familiarizing themselves with what would be their habitat for the coming months about two weeks after their ship became ice-bound. Around September 11, 1596 the Dutch decided to build a house in order to survive. The ship itself provided no resistance to the cold and the aggressive bears. They wanted to build a log cabin but the ship must remain spared. Luck was on their side, wood had been washed ashore nearby from more forested areas, good for building a house but also for building fires.
On September 15 the men were busy hauling the last sled with goods to the house. Three bears suddenly descended on the Dutch. One stuck his head into a tub to pull out a piece of meat. But it cost him dearly, as he was shot through the head by one of the Dutch. The other reared up and lunged at the men. He was shot in the belly and - after being disemboweled - frozen in ice standing on four legs; the men hoped to one day bring him back to the Netherlands as a trophy.*
Title: Two bears which approached the ship and what happened to them.
Text: One time we placed a big tub with salted meat on the ice slightly far from the ship to water it this attracted two bears who ran to it to steal some but when one of them tried to stick his head into the tub he was shot in the head from the ship so that he fell down and no vein was moving when the other bear saw this he stiffened and when he realized that his companion was dead he took off but came back right after to the ship when the sailors saw him they fended him off with rifles and halberds when he was standing right in front of them he rose and got shot in his body as soon as he felt the shot he backed down and ran away.**
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Theodore de Bry (1528-1598), after Jacques Le Moyne, Historia der Innivohner Americae Pl. 70
Theodore de Bry (1528-1598), after Jacques Le Moyne, Bietie einander abtagen Pl. XXXIII
Theodore de Bry (1528-1598), after Jacques Le Moyne, Bastie sur Ceremonien Pl. XL
Theodore de Bry (1528-1598), after John White (c. 1540-1593), Pifces in mari alati. II