255 x 330 mm., cut close and with false margins surrounding, with early manuscript hand beneath the title, otherwise in good condition.
A CONTEMPORARY BROADSIDE of the SPANISH ARMADA. It illustrates the decisive engagement off Gravelines in which the English sent fire ships into the Spanish fleet off the coast of Flanders in the English Channel. In the foreground are the towns of ‘Nieuport’, ‘Duyn’ [Dunkirk], ‘Grevelingen’ and ‘Cales’ [Calais]. The English coast curiously is engraved in reverse with ‘Pleymui’ [Plymouth] to the east of Dover. The Isle of Wight is also identified. The English attack with eight fire ships on 7 August 1588 caused the loss to several Spanish vessels of their anchors and rigging and the loss of about 5 vessels. It not only foiled the Spanish attempt to join with the army of the Duke of Parma on the mainland for an invasion but also helped disperse the fleet’s formation.
The broadside is the work of Frans Hogenberg (1538-90) and forms part of his ‘Geschichtsblätter’, or series of broadsides illustrating major events of the day. The series ran from at least 1559 and ran for about 80 years, several hundred were published. All were issued separately however and their survival is poor. One collection of 290 collected at the time was sold in the Caren Archive in 2014, the only bound collection in the last 40 years to appear on the market. Hogenberg is most famous for his engraved work for Abraham Ortelius’ ground breaking atlas the ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’, and the ‘Civitates Orbis Terrarum’ jointly published with Georg Braun from 1572. Bonhams New York Caren Archive 7 April 2014 lot 8; Hellwig, Fritz (ed.). (1983). ‘Franz Hogenberg-Abraham Hogenberg Geschichtsblätter’; Shirley (2007). ‘Netherlanders in Elizabethan England’ in ‘Mappae Antiquae Liber Amicorum Günter Schilder’ pp. 188-9.