Histoire naturelle des Indes : manuscript, ca. 1586.

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Record ID: 
Accession number: 
MA 3900
Uniform title: 
Drake manuscript.
ca. 1586.
Bequest of Clara S. Peck, 1983.
1 item, bound : ill. ; 30.4 cm

Contains 199 separate images of West Indian plants, animals and Indian life.
High reserve.
Most of the illustrations consist of a black chalk underdrawing and a combination of pen and brown ink with watercolor; on some images selected areas have also been glazed with a gum.
The combined work of at least two scribes and two artists. It may be a record of the early explorations of Sir Francis Drake (he is twice named in the text and the geographical references match his ports of call).
Though this work is often called the Drake manuscript, it bears on its title page (inserted when it was bound) the name Histoire naturelle des Indes.


Watermark: On title page, Wreath with words below.
Watermark: On page 9, Pot with one handle, letters "PDB" inside.
Watermark: On page 19, Sun inside crowned shield over cartouche with letters PVLEBED?, page 19.

Housed in: 
Blue cloth drop-spine box (32.4 cm)
Brown leather.
Unknown to scholars until 1867 and in private hands until it was acquired by the Library in 1983.