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Auction 12: The Zamorano 80 Collection of Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 22, 22A, 22B, 22C & 22D

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Item 22. Costansó’s Diario histórico (Mexico, 1770), report of the first land expedition to Alta California—“The first book that relates exclusively to California” and “probably the rarest of all Californiana” (Cowan).

Item 22.

22. [COSTANSÓ, Miguel] (1741-1814). Diario histórico de los viages de mar, y tierra hechos al norte de la California de orden del Excelentissimo Señor Marqués de Croix, Virrey, Governador, y Capitán General de la Nueva España: Y por dirección del Illustrissimo Señor D. Joseph de Gálvez...executados por la Tropa destinada á dicho objeto al mando de Don Gaspar de Portolá, Capitán de Dragones en el Regimiento de España, y Governador en dicha Peninsula.... Mexico: De Orden del Excmo. Sr. Virrey, Imprenta del Superior Gobierno, [1770]. [2] 56 pp., edges tinted yellow. Small folio, plain contemporary paper wrappers. Occasional very light staining and minor spotting (mainly affecting title), otherwise very fine, preserved in a green cloth chemise and slipcase. The Estelle Doheny–Henry H. Clifford copy (with Doheny’s green gilt morocco book label affixed to chemise). This book is found on three of the lists of “The Twenty Rarest and Most Important Books Dealing with the History of California” (Bliss, Cowan & Wagner). Cowan (I, p. 56) states that “It is believed that the work was suppressed by the Spanish government immediately upon its appearance, as it contained certain information that might be of use to navigators of other nationalities, and Spain distrusted England. Subsequently a manuscript copy was translated into English by William Reveley, and published in London in 1790. A copy of each of these works is known to be in this state [California], but they are superlatively rare—probably the rarest of all Californiana.”
First edition. Barrett, Baja California 591. Cowan I, pp. 56-57: “Of the utmost importance. The first book that relates exclusively to California.” Cowan II, p. 144. Doheny Sale 210 (this copy). Graff 884. Hill, p. 69. Howes C795: “Intrinsic importance and superlative rarity, combined with its status as the first book devoted entirely to California, place this item, either in Spanish or English, in the top rank of memorable and desirable California books.” Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 22. LC, California Centennial 28. Libros Californianos (Bliss, Cowan & Wagner lists), pp. 15-16, 20, 24. Mathes, California Colonial Bibliography 55. Medina, México 5363. Sabin 17019. Streeter, Americana-Beginnings 74. Streeter Sale 2437 (title illustrated, p. 1731): “The Portolá expedition was sent to found Monterey and San Diego, the first settlements in what is now the state of California. Approaching settlement from the north by the Russians prompted the Spanish to occupy formally Alta California. It was also on this expedition that San Francisco bay was discovered by land approach.” Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast, p. 164; Spanish Southwest 149. Zamorano 80 #22. ($40,000-80,000)

22A. [COSTANSÓ, Miguel]. Diario histórico de los viages de mar, y tierra hechos al norte de la California.... N.p., n.d. [2] 56 pp. (photostatic facsimile on thick paper). Small folio, early-twentieth-century leather over plum cloth, gilt-lettered tan leather spine label. Spine worn, chipped, and abrading. The Lyman-Howell-Clifford copy.
An exact photo facsimile of the original edition. ($50-100)

22B. COSTANSÓ, Miguel. The Portolá Expedition of 1769-1770. Diary of Miguel Costansó.... Edited by Frederick J. Teggart. Berkeley: University of California (Pubs. Acad. Pac. Coast Hist. 2:4), 1911. 167 pp., Spanish and English on facing pages, folding map of California by Costansó (based on printed map of 1771: Carta reducida del Oceano Asiatico ó Mar del Sur, que comprehende la Costa Oriental y Occidental de la Península de la California, con el Golfo...). 8vo, original tan printed wrappers. Light wear to fragile wraps, otherwise very fine.
First printing of a previously unpublished diary by Costansó in the Sutro Library in San Francisco. Cowan II, p. 145. The present diary varies somewhat from the 1770 printed Diario histórico (see Item 22 above). In addition, this edition includes a reproduction of the map that Costansó drew in Mexico in 1770 based on his observations as engineer of the expedition. Tomás López printed this exceedingly rare map in Madrid in 1771, and it is practically impossible to procure. For more on the map, see California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 14n (quoting Mathes): “This is the first map of the coast of California based on observation since the charting of the coast by Vizcaíno in 1603.... Modern San Francisco Bay appears on a printed map for the time as Estero de S. Francisco.... The chart was not widely circulated in keeping with the practice of Spanish secrecy, and knowledge of the great bay was not diffused for some time.” Torres Lanzas, Relación descriptiva de los mapas, planos & de México y Floridas, Seville, 1900 (vol. 1, pp. 181-82) 255. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 625. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West I, p. 121 mentions this printed map in a footnote. ($50-100)

22C. COSTANSÓ, Miguel, et al. The Spanish Occupation of California: Plan for the Establishment of a Government. Junta or Council Held at San Blas, May 16, 1768. Diario of the Expeditions Made to California.... Translated from the Spanish Documents by Douglas S. Watson and Thomas Workman Temple II and the “Diario” of Miguel Costansó Follows.... San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1934. xiv, 64 pp., title printed in red and black, woodcut portraits of Jose de Gálvez and Fray Junípero Serra, facsimile signatures, folding map (facsimile of manuscript map by Costansó from 1770: Carta reducida del Oceano Asiatico nombrado por los navegantes Mar del Sur, que comprehende la Costa Oriental y Occidental de la Peninsula de la California con el Golfo...). 4to, original tan cloth over orange patterned boards, printed paper spine label. Mild to moderate browning to endpapers, otherwise very fine.
Limited edition (550 copies). Grabhorn (1915-1940) #203. Two documents on California by Gálvez accompany Costansó’s Diario histórico. The account by Costansó is the same as that found in Teggart’s translation, but the map presented in this edition is a photoreproduction of Costansó’s 1770 manuscript map in the Archives of the Ministry of War at Madrid, Spain. The manuscript map was the basis for the map printed by Tomás López in 1771. See California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 14n. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 625. Frederic W. Goudy designed the Franciscan type used in this fine press edition. ($100-200)

22D. [COSTANSÓ, Miguel]. Diario histórico de los viages de mar, y tierra hechos al norte de la California. Mexico: Edición Chimalistac, 1950. [3]-71 [2] pp. (complete), facsimile of title page of original edition of 1770. 8vo, original full crimson morocco, spine gilt with raised bands. Very fine in black cloth slipcase. From the library of noted collector and legal historian Kenneth M. Johnson, with his bookplate on front pastedown. Printed label of Librería de Porrúa Hermanos y Cía. México, D.F. tipped in at back. The Henry H. Clifford copy.
Second Spanish edition, limited edition (#75 of 100 numbered copies). This edition contains a historical introduction, footnotes, and index. ($150-300)


Following the successful establishment of a permanent settlement at the mission and presidio of Nuestra Señora de Loreto by Jesuit Father Juan María de Salvatierra in 1697, the Spanish advance toward the north began. A shortage of personnel and supply and the rugged terrain of the peninsula of California forestalled progress, but following the expulsion of the Society of Jesus in 1767, the crown gave full support to rapid expansion toward the bays of San Diego and Monterey in Alta California, which had been named and charted by Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602.
Miguel Costansó, a native of Barcelona and officer of the Royal Corps of Engineers, was serving in Sonora when he received notice of the involvement of fellow Catalán officers and troops in the occupation of Alta California planned by Visitor General José de Gálvez in 1768, and after receiving permission to join the enterprise, he met with Gálvez in the recently created Naval Department of San Blas (Nayarit) on May 15 of that year to participate in preparations for the expedition. While there, Costansó prepared the first chart of the port of San Blas.
Joining Gálvez again on the peninsula, Costansó, a professional cartographer and draughtsman, prepared maps of the Bahía de La Paz and Cabo San Lucas prior to his departure for San Diego aboard San Carlos on January 9, 1769. Suffering from scurvy, Costansó reached the port on April 29 and, following recuperation, on July 14 departed overland with Lieutenant Pedro Fagés and six soldiers under the command of Captain Gaspar de Portolá in search of Monterey Bay. With only the maritime descriptions from the Vizcaíno expedition (published in Manila in 1734 by José González Cabrera Bueno in his Navegación especulativa y práctica...), the expedition bypassed the bay and reached the Golden Gate on October 31 from where Point Reyes was recognized. After eleven days attempting to reach Point Reyes, Portolá ordered the return southward, and recognizing the Point of Pines, the expedition remained at Monterey Bay from November 28 to December 10.
Upon return to San Diego on January 24, Portolá and Costansó prepared a return to Monterey for occupation of the port, with Costansó sailing aboard San Antonio with Father Junípero Serra on April 16 and a land expedition with twenty soldiers under Portolá and Fagés departing the following day. In May and June the site of the presidio of San Carlos and mission San Carlos Borromeo was laid out by Costansó, who then sailed with Portolá for San Blas on July 9 and reached Mexico City on August 10, where they reported the success of their enterprise to Viceroy Marqués de Croix. As a result, an abridged report was published on August 16 under the title of Estracto de noticias del puerto de Monterey....
On October 24, the more complete report compiled by Costansó was published, with a detailed chronology of the land and sea expeditions, descriptions of the country with latitude readings of established landmarks, ethnographic and linguistic observations, and a report of the founding of Monterey. Costansó also prepared the first map of the Bay of Monterey and on October 30 completed his Carta reducida del Océano Asiático... of the California coast from Cabo Corrientes to Point Reyes, engraved and printed the following year in Madrid, the first revisions of California cartography since 1603.
This first detailed report relative to Alta California drew the attention of Spain’s long-standing rival of territory in the New World, Britain, and an English translation published in 1790 was sponsored by Alexander Dalrymple to support English claims to the Pacific based upon the voyage of Francis Drake in 1579 during the Nootka Sound Convention. A German translation appeared in Tübingen in 1792-1793, a second English translation in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1874 and subsequent English-language editions were published in San Francisco in 1889, Los Angeles in 1901-1902, Berkeley in 1911, San Francisco in 1934, Newhall, California in 1970, and Fairfield, Washington in 2000. The second Spanish edition was published in Mexico City in 1950, and subsequent editions appeared in Madrid in 1959, Lérida in 1970, and Barcelona in 1984.

——W. Michael Mathes

Item 22.

Item 22.

Map from Item 22B.

Page 24 of the Grabhorn Edition, Item 22C.

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