A Pristine Copy in Original Pastepaper Binding, with a Beautiful Map

 “One of the rarest primary sources on the history of Baja California”-Hill

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102. CLAVIGERO, Francesco Saverio. Storia della California Opera postuma del Nob. Sig. Abate D. Francesco Saverio Clavigero. Tomo Primo [-Secondo]. Venezia: Appresso Modesto Fenzo, 1789. Con Licenza de’ Superiori, e Privilego. 2 vols in 1. Vol. I: [1-2] 3-276, [2] pp.; Vol. II: [1-2] 3-212, [2] pp., typographical elements on titles, folded map at end (see below), printed on fine Italian paper. 8vo (21.2 x 15 cm), original pink pastepaper spine over plain tan pastepaper boards. Untrimmed. Except for mild corner bumping (heavier at lower back corner) and two short, clean marginal tears (no losses) in blank margins of map, a pristine, as-issued copy. With contemporary engraved bookplate of Giacomo Miezzi (or possibly Muzzi) laid in. With the errata leaves at the end of each volume (often lacking). Beautifully printed. One would be hard-pressed to find a more desirable copy.


Carta della California suo Golfo e Contracoste della Nuova Spagna [title in pediment at lower left surrounded by elaborate landscape elements including cacti, palm tree, yucca, rocky terrain]. [Below neat line] Da D. Raimondo Tarros Delineata 1788 | J. Zambelly Sculp. Compass rose. Neat line to neat line: 36.5 x 29.7 cm; overall sheet size: 43.5 x 37 cm. Hill, p. 35: “The beautiful map, based on Consag’s, shows Lower California to San Diego Bay and Pimeria Alta.” Missions are located. The map is based upon the 1757 map of Father Fernando Consag, S.J., first published in Venegas, and later, in Johann Jakob Baegert’s Nachrichten von der Amerika.

     First edition. Barrett 527. Bradford 939. Cowan I, p. 49. Cowan II, p. 129. Graff 747: “One of the source books for the history of Baja California, which describes the peninsula, its natural history, resources, Indian tribes, and colonies from after its first explorations to the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767. Calvijero was a teaching priest with a a long experience in Mexico.” Hill I, pp. 54-55: “One of the rarest primary sources on the history of Baja California.” Hill II:307. Howes C465. JCB III (2, 1772-1800) 2359. Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana (1878) 846. Mathes, California Colonial Bibliography 66. Palau 55491. Pilling 825: “Comments on the Cochimi Language, Vol. I, pp. 110-111. Paternoster in various dialects of the Cochimi; of the Missions of S. Francesco Saverio and S. Giuseppe di Comondu, pp, 264-265; of the Missions of S. Francesco Borgia, Santa Gertrude and Santa Maria, p. 265; of the Mission of S. Ignacio, pp. 265-266.” Sabin 13524. Streeter Sale 2451. Streit III:1113. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 716; Spanish Southwest 172.

     According to the introduction, the map is based on the 1757 Consag map. Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, p. 69: “Tarrós delineated a map of Lower California and the Mexican mainland for Clavigero’s Storia della California (Venice, 1789); it is a close imitation of Kino’s 1710 production except that the map-maker, on seeing the Island of Angel de la Guarda on some maps and Santa Inés on others, delineated both.... It is evident that Father Tarrós in delineating the map did not keep before him the detailed description of the area given by Clavigero in the text.” The missions are located on the map.

     Clavigero (1731-1787), famed Mexican Jesuit savant, was born in the city of Veracruz, studied in the colleges of San Jerónimo and San Ignacio in Puebla, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tepotzotlán, outside the City of Mexico, in 1748. Following six years of study, he was ordained, and subsequently served as an instructor in the Jesuit colleges of Espíritu Santo and San Francisco Javier in Puebla and San Francisco Javier in Valladolid (Morelia). In 1765 he made his solemn profession in Guadalajara where he served as professor of philosophy. He was expelled from Spanish domains with his fellow Jesuits in 1767 and exiled to Italy. (The order was suppressed by Clement XIV in 1773.) Following a shipwreck in Corsica he lived in Ferrara in 1768, and in the following year moved to Bologna to join other Mexican Jesuits in exile and died there.

     While in exile, and later in the ex-Jesuit residence in Bologna, Clavigero enjoyed access not only to numerous published volumes and manuscripts, but also collegiality with such coreligious as Francisco Javier Alegre and Miguel del Barco. His interest in, and nostalgia for, his homeland resulted in publication, translated into Italian, of Storia antica del Messico (Cesena, 1780-1781) in four volumes, a history of Mexico from the pre-Cortesian period with emphasis on contributions exclusively Mexican, based extensively on the seminal work of Fray Juan de Torquemada, O.F.M. Attracted as well to one of the major successes of the Society of Jesus in peninsular California, Clavigero undertook a synthesis of the history of the region, especially of the Jesuits, based extensively on the three-volume proto-history Noticia de la California, y de su Conquista Temporal, y Espiritual hasta el tiempo presente...of Miguel Venegas, S.J. (Madrid, 1757) and information provided by Fathers Alegre, Barco, and others.

     “The second published history of California, the Storia della California..., a fundamental volume of Californiana, did not appear in print in Spanish until 1852 as Historia de la Antigua o Baja California... (México, Juan R. Navarro). An English translation appeared in 1937 by Sara E. Lake and A. A. Grey, The History of [Lower] California (Stanford University Press), and a modern Spanish edition has been published in Mexico (Porrúa Hermanos, 1970).”——W. Michael Mathes


Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,450.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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