The French Venegas—”L’un des meilleurs livres anciens sur la Californie”

A Choice Copy—In Original Pastepaper Covers

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563. [VENEGAS, Miguel & Andrés Marcos Burriel]. Histoire Naturelle et Civile de la Californie, contenant une description exacte de ce Pays, de son Sol, de ses Montagnes, Lacs, Rivières & Mers, de ses Animaux, Végétaux, Minéraux, & de sa fameuse Pêcherie des Perles; les Mœurs de ses Habitans, leur Religion, leur Gouvernement, & leur façon de vivre avant leur conversion au Christianisme; un détail des différens Voyages, & Tentatives qu’on a faites pour s’y établir, & reconnoître son Golfe & la Côte de la Mer du Sud. Enrichie de la Carte du Pays & des Mers adjacentes. Traduite de l’Anglois, par M.E.** Tome Premier [Tome Second] [Tome Troisieme]. Paris: Chez Durand, Libraire, rue Saint-Jacques, à la Sagesse, 1767. Vol. I: [2] [iii] iv-xxii (i.e., xxiv), [1] 2-360 pp. Vol. II: [v] vi-viii, [1] 2-375 [1, verso blank] pp. (p. xxiv is misnumbered xxii and p. 187 is misnumbered 149). Vol. III: [iv] v-viii, [1] 2-354 [2] pp. (p. 185 is misnumbered 284), folded copper-engraved map (see below), subdued, elegant head- and tailpieces and occasional text ornamentation (woodcut and typographical). 3 vols., 12mo (18.5 x 11.5 cm), original grey paste paper covers with printer’s wastepaper endsheets, ink titles on paper spine labels, untrimmed. Vol. I with contemporary bibliographical ink notes on half-title (“Traduite de l’angloise par André Marc Burriel d’après les memoires de Michel Vénegas par M.E. = M.E. Eidous”) and another note on first page of text. Other than a bit of inconsequential light foxing to wraps and one small chip to label of Vol. I, a superb copy in original condition, preserved in folded brown cloth clamshell case with red calf label. One would be hard pressed to find a better set.


[BURRIEL, Andrés Marcos (after Kino and Consag)] . [Title within small ornate cartouche at lower left] Carte de la Californie, Levée par le Société des Jesuites. Dédiée au Roy d’Espagne en 1757. Neat line to neat line: 31.2 x 20 cm; overall sheet size: 38 x 21.7 cm. Map of the Baja Peninsula of California, embouchure of the Colorado River and the Gulf of California; part of Mexico to slightly south of Sinaloa; and the Borderlands from slightly west of the Colorado River in Alta California to slightly east of Casa Grande, Arizona. Map bound at end of Vol. I. As in the English Venegas, the map is a reworking of Map [1] in the Spanish Venegas, Mapa de la California su Golfo, y provincias fronteras en el Continente de Nueva España. Place names are a charming mixture of Spanish, English, French, and garbled Native languages. The map is Burriel’s interpretation of Kino’s 1701 map with Consag’s refinements and corrections. Very fine.

     First French edition. In this copy Vol. I is dated MDCCLXVII (Cowan II notes that in some sets, Vol. I bears the date of 1766). Translated by Marc-Antoine Eidous, from the English edition (see preceding entry). The first edition was printed at Madrid in 1757 (See herein). Barrett 2534. JCB III (1, 1700-1771) #1601. Brunet V, col. 1119. Chadenat II, 1500, 4155: “L’un des meilleurs livres anciens sur la Californie.” Cowan I, pp. 238-239. Cowan II, p. 657. Hill I, pp. 307-308. Hill II:1769. Howell 50, California 248. Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana (1867) 1529; (1878) 1036. Medina, Hispano-Americana 3855n. Palau 358389. Sabin 98843. Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus VIII:558-560. Spamer, A Bibliography of the Grand Canyon and Lower Colorado River 1767 2.6593. Streit III:838. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 132b: “This is a rather precise translation made, according to Leclerc, by M. Eidous from the English edition. Appendix 6, containing the notice of the voyage of Henry Ellis, and appendix 7, containing the account of the construction of the map and the translation of Delisle’s Mémoire, as well as the translation of the voyage of Admiral Fonte, were omitted.... The translator in his preface speaks very highly of this work, although he refers to the general system of the Jesuits which came in for world-wide criticism at this time.” Zamorano 80 #78n.

     Marc-Antoine Eidous of Marseilles (c. 1724-c. 1790) was an editor, translator, and Encyclopedist. He collaborated with Denis Diderot, translated a wide variety of works, and contributed to the Encyclopédie (1751-1772), a French reference work in which the advanced secular, technical, and political ideas of the period were articulated.


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