Gallery of prints for sale

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Cornelis Galle I’s engraving, “Fishing for Giant Oysters”, c1596, after Jan van der Straet


(Rijksmuseum attrib.) Cornelis Galle I (1576–1650) or (BM attrib.) Adriaen Collaert (c1560–1618)

“Fishing for Giant Oysters”, c1596, after the design by Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus; Ioannes Stradanus) (1523–1605), plate 102 from the series of 104 plates, “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium”, published in Antwerp by Philips Galle (aka Philippe Galle; Philippus Gallaeus) (1537–1612).

Engraving on fine laid paper with a small margin backed with a support sheet. Lifetime impression before numbering.

Size: (sheet trimmed slightly unevenly) 21.2 x 28 cm; (plate) 19.9 x 27 cm; (image borderline) 18.3 x 27 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left of centre) “Ioan. Stradanus inuent.”; (lower centre) “Phls Galle excud.”

Lettered in plate in two columns of two lines of Latin verses: (centre) “Tranquillum placido dum stat mare tempore rubrum,/ Ostrea piscari solet Indus humore repleta:// Effluit expressus liquor, et coalescit: ad instar/ Duratur gemmæ, at[que] Erythræus vt Vnio splendet.”   

State i (of iii) before the addition of the plate number.

New Hollstein Dutch 509-1(3) (Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2008, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450-1700: Cranach–Drusse”, vol. 6, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision, p.192; p.222 [image], cat. no. 509).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Plate numbered 102, Fishing for Giant Oysters; in the foreground three men on a rocky shore wash and attempt to open the giant oysters; behind them, fishermen in boats catch oysters in fishing nets; more fishermen are seen in the distance, a rocky shore flanking the sea to the left” (

See also the description of this print in its first state offered by the Rijksmuseum

Condition: a richly inked and near faultless impression with small margins laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a closed tear in the lower margin otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition.

I am selling this rare engraving—a first state/lifetime impression from the late 1500s—showing early oyster farming/gathering practices—presumably for pearl oysters but I apologise if I am wrong about this—for the total cost of AU$320 (currently US$213.89/EUR193.53/GBP170.36 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable engraving, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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