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History, Discovery, Hakluyt Voyages, by Thomas Derrick, Antique Drawings, 1927


Thomas Derrick (1855-1954)
Illustrations for Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations Voyages Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation
England: c. 1927
Pen and ink on paper
18 x 11 1/2 inches, approximate average size
$9,800 for the collection

Approximately 60 individual illustrations. Comprising most of Derrick’s illustrations for the 1927 edition of Hakluyt. Also available is the 10 volume set of Hakluyt, as published, with Derrick’s illustrations.

A series of original pen-and-ink drawings by Thomas Derrick for an edition of The Principal Navigations Voyages Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation by Richard Hakluyt, published by J.M. Dent, London, 1927-28, in ten volumes (eight volumes, with two supplemental ones). The drawings are based on historical maps, paintings and prints, but exhibit Derrick’s Edwardian sensibilities as an artist, including Art Nouveau and Art Deco stylization.

Product description continues below.


Richard Hakluyt (c. 1552-1616) was a British geographer and writer who popularized the history of British maritime world exploration in Divers Voyages Touching Upon the Discovery of America [sic.] (1582), and his most important work, The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation [sic.] (1589; revised and enlarged 1599). Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations is now considered one great books of the English language and one of the most popular maritime, travel, and exploration books of all time.

In Principal Navigations, Hakluyt begins with the story of British explorations in the Old World, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, such as Sir Jerome Bowes’ journey to Moscow. There is a section on British expeditions to the New World with detailed descriptions of voyages in search of a northwest passage and settlements in the Virginia and the Carolinas. A complete narrative of Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world in 1577-1580 is a highlight of the set. Narratives of the expeditions of Cabot, Hawkins, Gilbert, Frosbisher, Lane, Hariot, and others British explorers and navigators are included as well.

Derrick’s drawings for Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations parallel the history of British exploration related in the text. A series of portraits, many inset in elaborate maritime borders, include explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan, the cartographer Gerard Mercator, and influential British men of the period such as the Elizabethan statesman Sir Robert Cecil. A series of maps are included, some based on the works of Theodore de Bry, including a map of Virginia embellished with sea ships and monsters. Peoples and places of the world, from Virginia and Mexico in the New World, to China, Russia, and Persia in the Old World are represented. Among these pictures are portraits of American Indians, Montezuma, and Moscovites as well as views of The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt.

Thomas C. Derrick was a British painter and book illustrator. Born in Bristol, England, his artistic career also included mural, stained glass and portraiture. Derrick was educated at the Royal College of Art, where he also exhibited his work and was an instructor of decorative painting for five years. He illustrated a wide range of books and also contributed artwork to publications such as Time and Tide and Punch.

General Condition Notes: These are working drawings and are in worn condition as expected for such. Generally each illustration has the usual toning, wear, soiling, soft creases, bent edges, short tears in margins. Most have hard creases and pencil notations for book placement and credits in the margins, mostly can be matted out. Additional condition considerations are shown below. If desired, for a small charge, we can have a professional paper conservator flatten creases or treat other condition problems.

Additional information


20th Century