Joannes de Laet, L'histoire du Nouveau Monde, ou, Description des Indes Occidentales (Leiden: Elzevir, 1640).
Detail from a French translation of Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien, a description of North and South America full of charts, and botanical, zoological and ethnographical illustrations originally published in 1630. One of the charts was the first to show New York, which was founded in 1626, under the original name of New Amsterdam. The book was written by Joannes de Laet who was director of the Dutch West India Company.
The detail shows an unidentified mammal (a sloth?), called here "le Hay", described in the text as being the size of a dog, with the face of a female monkey, a belly like a pregnant pig, rather light coloured hair, a long tail, and hairy feet like those of a bear, with long nails.
Donated by Matthew Prior, Fellow, poet and diplomat.