18. 18th century.
35 x 27.5 cm, engraving, showing whales, polar bears and walruses, and sailors hunting a walrus from a dinghy. Very slight toning, tiny amount of wear to edges, otherwise very good.
§ Likely a scene from Willem Barentsz’s third expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1596 Barentsz and his crew were trapped by ice among the islands of the Nova Zembla (Novaya Zemlya) archipelago. By building a house out of the ship’s timbers and hunting seals and polar bears they the winter on the ice. In the spring the surviving men set sail in two small boats but reached safety only after seven more weeks at sea by which time Barentsz and three more of his men had perished. This is likely a plate from an edition of Dutch officer Gerrit de Veer’s journal of the voyage. Jan Luyken (1649-1712) belonged to the best engravers of the period. (PH 67). Item #107087