Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 11 March 2024

Philips Galle’s engraving, “Ostrich Hunt”, c.1578, after Jan van der Straet

Philips Galle (Philippus Gallaeus; Philippe Galle) (1537–1612)

“Ostrich Hunt”, c.1578, plate 62 from the series of 104 plates, “Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium” (aka “Hunting Parties” [TIB title]), after the design by Jan van der Straet (aka Joannes Stradanus; Ioannes Stradanus) (1523–1605), published in Antwerp by Philips Galle; see Van der Straet’s ink and wash drawing/design for this engraving (in reverse) held by the Rijksmuseum:

Engraving on fine laid paper with the watermark, “High Crown with Cross and Star (small)” (Meder 31), trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline with loss of the text line below the borderline.

Size: (sheet) 20.5 x 29.9 cm; (image borderline) 20.1 x 29.4 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Iohannes Stradanus inuentor.”

A lifetime impression based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate and the German watermark, “High Crown with Cross and Star (small)” (Meder 31)—note that this watermark may be seen on impressions of Albrecht Dürer’s “Landscape with Cannon”, 1518 (see

TIB 5601.104:25 (Arno Dolders [ed.] 1987, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists: Philips Galle”, vol. 56, Supplement, New York, Abaris Books, p. 425, cat. no. [5601].104:25); New Hollstein Dutch 445 (Marjolein Leesberg [comp.] 2008, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Cranach–Drusse”, vol. 6, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision, cat. no. 445).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print (with the intact text line): “Plate numbered 62, Ostrich Hunt; in the foreground, three huntsmen on horseback, armed with spears and aided by dogs, close in on ostrich; beyond, mounted horsemen and dogs come from left and right, pursuing the ostriches towards a ditch into which they are seen to fall” (

Condition: a well-printed but slightly pale impression with small margins around the image borderline in a near pristine condition for its considerable age with no tears, holes, folds or stains.

I am selling this remarkable engraving of a somewhat distressing (at least to my eyes) hunting scene for ostriches by turbaned men armed with lances on horseback and accompanied by their hunting dogs in the exotic landscape of the Barbary Coast, North Africa—note the date palms on both sides of the composition and the curious tower-like building with a ball-like structure on top in the far distance—for the total cost of AU$333 (currently US$220.24/EUR201.37/GBP171.85 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 historically interesting engraving showing the technique of hunting—a technique that I see as more about trapping than killing, although no doubt that the feathers of the ostrich was a key reason for hunting them—involving chasing animals towards a trench (as may be seen in the distance), 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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