500 Years Ago
Tuesday, 20 September 1519
“ A Day to be Momentous in History ”
sets Sail for the First Circumnavigation
“ the longest voyage of discovery,
the boldest adventure
in the records of our race, had begun ”
Ferdinand Magellanus (Saborosa/Portugal c. 1480 – Mactan/Philippines 1521). Half-length portrait in oval medallion, in front of him chart while measuring the globe with the dividers. In the background plain coast landscape with three-master in a bay, on the shore on the right as well as on a height left two crosses each, besides several palms. Laterally lined by palm branches, above laurel wreath with fluttering blue ribbons, the title cartouche below entwined with fruit garland. Colored engraving. (1671.) 11¼ × 6¾ in (28.6 × 17.2 cm).
The especially above and below wide white margin unessentially and only on the back somewhat more browned. Absolutely unaffected by this, however,
and shining in just as beautiful as fresh colors
the portrait of Ferdinand Magellan as first circumnavigator and explorer
of both the Strait of Magellan in southern Tierra del Fuego named after him as the long-searched for, though soon enough forgotten again connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the Philippines where in a skirmish he met his death on Mactan in 1521. Pigafetta’s Relation is the one and only preserved narration on the three-years voyage which changed the image of the world dramatically.
Offer no. 28,825 | EUR 590. | export price EUR 561. (c. US$ 678.) + shipping
Antonio Pigafetta. Magellan’s Voyage. A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation (1519-1522). Manuscript of 1525 of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University in French on vellum in black, red, and blue. 2, 99 ll.
With 23 colored full-page sketch-maps ,
among which one with the Philippine Islands
Bohol — Mattan (Mactan, “Icy mourut le capitaine general” [Magellan]) — Zzubu (Cebu)
and innumerable colored initials, the larger ones decorated. Facsimile in the original size and the original colors. English translation and commentary by R. A. Skelton (5 ll. preliminaries & foreword, 195 pp., double full-page map, 23 full-page ills. & 2 globe ills. on 1 p.). Facsimile & text vol. New Haven & London 1969. Sm. fol. Beige orig. cloth with red backstamping and blind tooled frontboards in subdivided red orig. cloth dual slipcase with mounted color ill.
Dedicated to Edwin J. Beinecke who made this edition possible. – Title in red & black and with colored ills. – Splendidly arranged edition on heavy paper, printed by Enschedé en Zoonen, Haarlem. – Lower corner of fol. 25 of the facsimile vol. folded down during production. – The spines somewhat paled and tails minimally scuffed, the boards faintly finger-stained, the lower board of the text volume lower left with 3 little line traces, otherwise impeccable.
Prince’s Copy and “certainly the finest of all the manuscripts … as well as the most complete of the three French manuscripts existent”. Whether it is the one worked for the Grand Master of Rhodes must be left undecided. Former pre-possessor was Jean Cognet, chamberlain and pharmacist of the cardinal of the Lorraine, who dedicated it to Christophe de Gastinois, the secretary of the cardinal. 1720 in the possession of the abbey of St. Leopold in Nancy the further provenance should be quite complete up to Ed Beinecke in 1945. The manuscript in itself perfectly legible.
Pigafetta (about 1491 Vicenza about 1534; studies of mathematics & navigation,
see the large illustration of his monument on Mactan ,
where he was severely wounded, while Magellan met his death, within Witzani’s report in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Aug. 13, 1992, p. R 3)
was one of only 18 survivors of the 270 setting out on Magellan’s expedition .
And “Just this one little Knight of Rhodes, this supernumerary, has brought Magellan’s deed to the knowledge of posterity … Shakespeare borrows a scene from Pigafetta’s logbook for his ‘Tempest’” (Stefan Zweig, Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan). The journal itself has not been preserved.
The edition here emphatically praised by Koeman :
“ … welcome the appearance of this very first facsimile reproduction … which is also the first translation into English of one of the French manuscripts still existing … Readers of journals … will now have access to original sources,
recording such fundamental facts as the establishing of the Pacific Ocean ,
the position of the Moluccas ,
and the remarks on earlier representations of Magellan Strait with its implications … (And the) appearance (of the book itself) is in perfect harmony with the beauty of the original manuscript and with the importance of its contents … Apart from its scientific value this work is a precious object for book-lovers … (And) having started reading the Introduction and proceeding with the translation … the scale turns to the part for which Dr. Skelton was responsible, for his masterly analysis of the origin and transmission of Pigafetta’s Relation … reading it is fascinating … Magellan’s voyage itself was not prolific for chartproduction. Presumably the material got lost in the Moluccas. Pigafetta had 23 pages with maps copied in his Relation, but they are sketches, in the ‘Isolario style’, without geographical grid and topographical details … In many ways the publication of this work is of great interest for a wide circle of students, scholars and bibliophiles … Against this background the publication … will render a great service to civilisation ”
(Imago Mundi XXIV, 1970, p. 151).
No less than Pigafetta’s report itself did back then when the triumphant return of Victoria under the command of previous mutineer Juan Sebastián Elcano made Magellan as the true originator of the deed almost forgotten.
Offer no. 29,123 | EUR 470. | export price EUR 447. (c. US$ 540.) + shipping
L’Asie divisée en ses principaux Etats. With large title-cartouche. Continent map by Jean Janvier. Engraving colored in outline. Paris, Lattré, c. 1770. Inscribed: par le Sr. Janvier, Geographe. A Paris Chés Lattré Graveur rue S. Jacques, au pres la fontaïne Saint Severin à la Ville de Bordeaux. Avec Priv. du Roi., otherwise as above. 12⅜ × 18⅛ in (31.4 × 45.9 cm).
Continent map. – In the center Beijing, with “Petit Tibet” & “Grand Tibet” a little west of the center. Otherwise with Arabia up to the Red Sea – Turkey – Persia – Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Siberia – Mongolia – China – Japan – India – Indonesia – Sunda Islands – Borneo – Sumatra – Moluccas . – Typographic watermark.
Relating to the Philippines with the interesting, but erroneous note
“ Ces Isles ont etée decouvertes par Magellan en 1520 ”
instead of March 1521 .
More eastwards the “Isles … des Larons” (Islands of the Thieves, Mariana Islands) with the “I(sle) Guan sans eau” and, southernly of this,
“ Isles vues par Magellan ”
as the first island Magellan encountered after the 100-days traversal of the Pacific.
Offer no. 15,224 | EUR 345. | export price EUR 328. (c. US$ 397.) + shipping