Copyright 2000-2015 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lot 74: Relación del viage hecho, the "Spanish Vancouver"

| <<previous lots | |Auction 15 abstracts| |Home| |A15 contents| | next lots>> |

The “Spanish Vancouver”

74. [FERNÁNDEZ DE NAVARRETE, Martín (but often attributed to José Espinosa y Tello; see note below)]. Relación del viage hecho por las goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el año de 1792 para reconocer el estrecho de Fuca; con una introducción en que se da noticia de las expediciones executadas anteriormente por los españoles en busca del paso del noroeste de la América. Madrid: La Imprenta Real, 1802. Text: 16, clxviii, 185 pp., folded table of California missions between pp. 168 and 169 (Estado de las misiones de la Nueva California en los años que se expresa), engraved title vignette of royal arms of Spain. 8vo, full mid-twentieth-century sprinkled sheep, spine extra gilt with raised bands and red and green calf labels, marbled endpapers. Atlas (Atlas para el viage de las goletas Sutil y Mexicana al reconocimiento del estrecho de Juan de Fuca en 1792, publicado en 1802): [4] pp., 9 copper-engraved maps (4 folded), 2 folded aquatint plates of Nootka, 6 copper-engraved plates of Native Americans and artifacts (see map and plate list below). Small folio, full mid-twentieth-century sprinkled sheep, spine extra gilt with raised bands and red and green calf labels, marbled endpapers. Very minor rubbing to binding, occasional light staining (mainly confined to blank margins of last few leaves of atlas and text), overall a fine, desirable set. The Estelle Doheny copy, with her maroon gilt-lettered morocco book labels on front pastedowns.

List of maps and plates (map dimensions neatline to neatline):

Número 1°. Carta esferica de los reconocimientos hechos en la costa N.O. de America en 1791 y 92. por las Goletas Sutíl y Mexicana, y otros buques de S.M. Engraved map. 48.5 x 37.2 cm; 19 x 14-3/4 inches. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabó. Lower right below neatline: Morata lo escribió. Acapulco to Cape Perpetua, north of Mendocino.

Númo. 2 Carta esférica de los reconocimientos hechos en la Costa N.O. de América en 1791. y 92. por las Goletas Sutíl y Mexicána y otros buques de S.M. Engraved map. 48.5 x 37.2 cm; 19 x 14-3/4 inches. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo Grabo. Continuation of the Pacific coast from Cape Perpetua to north of Vancouver Island, including full delineation of the Puget Sound area.

Número 3°. Continuacion de los reconocimientos hechos en la costa NO. de America por los buques de S.M. en varias Campañas desde 1774 á 1792. Engraved map. 36.4 x 47.6 cm; 14-3/8 x 18-3/4 inches. Lower left below neatline: Cardano Scul. Lower right below neatline: Morata esc. Pacific coast from Vancouver Island to the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

Númo. 4. Carta de los reconocimientos hechos en 1602. Por el Capitan Sebastian Vizcayno formada por los Planos que hizo el mismo durante su comision. Engraved map. 36.1 x 35.2 cm; 14-1/4 x 13-7/8 inches. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabado. Pacific coast from Mendocino to Cabo San Lucas.

Numo. 5o. Plano del puerto de S. Diego en la costa setentl. de Californs. levantado por el 2o. Piloto de la Armada D. Juan Pantója. Año 1782.... Engraved map. 21.6 x 17.8 cm; 8-1/2 x 7 inches. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabó. Lower right below neatline: Morata lo escr. San Diego Bay and environs, locating mission, presidio, ranches, and soundings.

Plano del puerto y bahia de Monte Rey situado en la costa de Californs. trabajado á bordo de las corvetas descubierta y atrevida Año 1791. Engraved map. 23.6 x 17.9 cm; 9-1/4 x 7 inches. Upper left above neatline: Numo. 6. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabó. Lower right below neatline: Morata lo escribió. Monterey Bay and peninsula locating presidio missions in Santa Cruz and Carmel (S. Carlos), Rancho de San Antonio, and soundings in the bay.

Plano de la Cala de los Amigos. Situada en la parte ocidental de la entrada de Nutka. Año 1791. Engraved map. 25.2 x 17.8 cm; 9-7/8 x 7 inches. Upper left above neatline: Numo. 7. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabó. Lower right below neatline: Morata lo escó. Plan of Los Amigos at the entrance to Nootka Sound.

Plano del Puerto de Mulgrave trabajado á bordo de las corvetas descubierta y atrevida de la Marina Real Año 1791.... Engraved map. 17.6 x 25.2 cm; 7 x 9-7/8 inches. Upper left above neatline: Num. 8. Lower left below neatline: Cardano lo grabó. Lower right below neatline: Morata lo escó. Yakutat Bay and Port Mulgrave in Alaska.

Numo. 9o. Plano del Puerto del Desengaño trabajado de orden del Rey en 1791.... Engraved map. 22.4 x 19 cm; 8-3/4 x 7-1/2 inches. Lower left below neatline: J. Cardano sc. Disenchantment Bay at the head of Yakutat Bay, Alaska (so named because of the failure to find the entrance to Maldonado’s Strait).

Fiesta celebrade en Nutka por su Xefe Macuina á causa de haber dado su hija indicios de entrar en la pubertad. Aquatint view. 24.4 x 41.2 cm; 9-1/2 x 16-1/4 inches. Upper left above image margin: Num. 10.

Vista de lo interior de la Cala de los Amigos en la entrada de Nutka. Aquatint view. 24.5 x 41.5 cm; 9-5/8 x 16-1/4 inches. Upper left above image margin: Numo. 11.

Macuina, Xefe de Nutka. Engraved oval portrait of Chief Macuina. 15.3 x 11.5 cm; 6 x 4-1/2 inches. Below image: Selma lo grabó.

Tetacú, Xefe de la entrada del Estrecho de Juan de Fuca. Engraved oval portrait of Chief Tetacú. 15.3 x 11.5 cm; 6 x 4-1/2 inches. Below image: Selma lo grabó.

Maria, Muger de Tetacú. Engraved oval portrait of mother and child of Chief Tetacú. 15.3 x 11.5 cm; 6 x 4-1/2 inches. Below image: Selma lo grabó.

Oratorio del Fays de Nutka. Engraved view of shaman figure in prayer box. 20.2 x 11.5 cm; 7-7/8 x 4-1/2 inches. Miles & Reese, Creating America 98: “An unusual rendering of the head chief Ma-kwee-na’s ‘Oratory,’ a box in which he locked himself, fasted, and prayed, and from which he pronounced oracles to his people. Although various Spanish journals corroborate Ma-kwee-na’s use of the prayer box, few if any examples of such a box appear to be preserved in collections of Northwest Coast Indian art and material culture.”

Plancha de Madera hallada en el canal á que por ésta razón se dió el nombre de canal de la Tabla. Engraved illustration of Native wood carving. 8.5 x 16.4 cm; 3-3/8 x 6-3/8 inches.

Num 17. El Peje que bimos semejado à estos aun que no devisamos si tenia escama ó no.... Engraved illustration of fanciful aquatic forms. 10.3 x 17.5 cm; 4 x 6-7/8 inches.

    First edition. Barrett 3460. Bauer 138. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 19 (San Diego). Cowan II, p. 198. Doheny Sale 221 (this copy). Graff 1262: “Most important account of the exploration of the Far Northwest coast by the Spanish.” Harlow, Maps of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego 1602-1864 #11: “Tracings of this [San Diego Bay] plan were in 1848 attached to Article 5 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war between the United States and Mexico, defining the initial point on the Pacific of the new boundary between the countries.” Hill 570. Holliday 348. Howell 50, California 77. Howes G18 (rating the 1802 edition as “dd”–“superlatively rare” and conjecturing authorship by Galiano). Jones 686. Lada-Mocarski 56: “Unsurpassed in importance.” Libros Californianos, pp. 16n (Bliss list) & 24n (Wagner list). Lowery 95, 704. Mathes, California Colonial Bibliography 71. Medina, Hispano-Americana 5934. Miles & Reese, Creating America 98. Palau 82853-82854. Pilling 51: “Varias palabras del idioma que se habla en la Boca S. del Canal de Fuca y sus equivalentes en castellano, pp. 41-42, Vocabulary of the Eslen and Runsien (31 words), pp. 172-173, Vocabulario del idioma de los habitantes de Nutka, pp. 178-184.” Sabin 2312 (atlas) & 69221 (text). Strathern 167. Streeter Sale 2458. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 861 & pp. 225-233, 252-254.
    This atlas contains excellent maps and is sometimes referred to as the Spanish Vancouver. Wagner deemed the maps superior in some respects to Vancouver’s, and Humboldt used them as models for some maps in his Essai Politique sur le Royaume de la Nouvelle Espagne. The publication relationship between the present maps and those of Vancouver is somewhat complicated. According to Wagner (pp. 252-253), Vancouver’s nomenclature and geography came to occupy the field because his maps were extensively copied by the famous English cartographer Aaron Arrowsmith and by the English Admiralty. The chart of San Diego is based on a manuscript map by Juan Pantoja y Arriaga, “the first reliable chart of the Bay, prepared between August 28 and September 28, 1782, by Pantoja y Arriaga, pilot of the Princesa, one of the annual supply ships, under the command of Esteban José Martínez, running between San Blas and Alta California.... Pantoja’s chart was not only the first to show the Bay’s ‘true appearance’ but–with the subsequent addition of False Bay–was the most prolific of imitation, with and without attribution, by English, Spanish, French, Mexican, German, Russian, and American nationals for the next sixty years” (Harlow, Maps of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego 1602-1864, pp. 61-62). The superbly engraved plates by talented expedition artist José Cardero include two beautiful folded aquatints of scenes at Nootka with Native houses, Natives, boats and scenery.
($15,000-30,000)

§§§§§

Following almost a century of warfare with England, generally due to disastrous alliances with France, Spain was forced to withdraw from the last great area of the globe to be explored, the Pacific Northwest Coast of America. Spanish claims, dating from the sixteenth century and reconstituted during the late eighteenth century, were nullified by the threat of war and the Nootka Convention of 1790, permitting the ultimate establishment of British hegemony in the region. In a final search for a water passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, in 1791 the Descubierta commanded by Alejandro Malaspina and the Atrevida under José Bustamante y Guerra explored the area of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island, as well as some of the numerous inlets of the British Columbia and southeast Alaskan coast without encountering a passage. Nevertheless, Malaspina was not convinced that his work had been sufficiently exhaustive, and in 1792, an expedition comprising the Sutil under Dionisio Alcalá-Galiano and the Mexicana under Cayetano Valdés was dispatched from San Blas to finally settle the question. In concert with George Vancouver, Alcalá-Galiano and Valdés circumnavigated Vancouver Island and explored in detail the inlets northward to the Queen Charlotte Islands, thus satisfying both Spain and England that an entrance to a passage south of the Cook Inlet did not exist. The results of this final Spanish voyage of discovery in the North Pacific were prepared for publication by Martín Fernández de Navarrete (1765-1844) of the Depósito Hidrográfico in Madrid.
    Fernández de Navarrete, member of a family with several generations of naval tradition, was a career naval officer, reaching the rank of captain in 1793 and subsequently holding numerous posts in the Ministry of the Navy. In 1792, he was elected to the Real Academia de la Lengua and the Academia de Artes Nobles de San Fernando, and in 1799 he was instrumental in creating the naval historical archive, Depósito Hidrográfico, in Madrid. In 1800, as a result of his extensive work in Spanish naval history, including the transcription of over forty immense volumes of rare manuscripts regarding Spanish voyages dating from the fifteenth century from disparate archives for the Depósito Hidrográfico, he was elected to the Real Academia de la Historia. In this position, he compiled the material for the text and atlas of the Relación and saw it through the press in 1802. Fernández de Navarrete also wrote his important Colección de viajes y descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los españoles (Madrid, 1825-1837) as well as numerous other works on naval history, and was an initiator, with Miguel Salvá and Pedro Saiz de Barranda, of the famed Colección de documentos Inéditos para la Historia de España.
    Though the work is curiously and mysteriously attributed to Lieutenant José Espinosa y Tello, a very able cosmographer with the Malaspina expedition, who produced the important scientific work Memorias sobre las observaciones españoles hechas por los navegantes españoles en distintos lugares del Globo in two volumes (Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1809) and the appendix, Memoria sobre las observaciones astronómicas que han servido de fundamento a las cartas de la costa N.O. de América, of all scholars of the day, only Fernández de Navarrete could have written the extensive introduction, a succinct history of Spanish exploration of the Pacific Coast. It is notable that Spanish bibliographers such as Antonio Palau y Dulcet and José Toribio Medina, and the great U.S. bibliographer Joseph Sabin, do not list Espinosa y Tello in relationship to this work.
    With only five hundred copies printed in 1802, a modern second edition with atlas was published in Madrid in 1958, and subsequent editions in facsimile have appeared since that date.

––W. Michael Mathes

| <<previous lots | |Auction 15 abstracts| |Home| |A15 contents| | next lots>> |