Rare German Edition of Venegas, with Map

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564. VENEGAS, Miguel [& Andrés Marcos Burriel]. Natürliche und bürgerliche Geschichte von Californien nebst einer neuen Charte dieses Landes und der benachbarten Meere, aus dem Englischen übersetzt und herausgegeben von Johan Christoph Adelung....Erster [-Zweiter] Theil. Lemgo [Germany]: In der Meyerschen Buchhandlung, 1769. Incomplete copy (Vols. 1 & 2 of 3 vols.): Vol. I: [1-3] 4-184 pp.; Vol. II: [1-5] 6-198 [2, blank] pp., wood-engraved vignettes on titles and in text, copper-engraved folded map (see below). 2 vols. in one, 4to (24 x 20.5 cm), later dark green buckram with manuscript spine label, over early boards with title in ink in a nineteenth-century hand on upper cover. Binding rubbed and worn, hinges broken, text and map uniformly browned. Ex-library, with embossing on title page and rubber stamps on recto and verso of title page and map, all of St. Xavier College in New York. Warren Howell considered the German edition the most rare of the various editions of Venegas.


[BURRIEL, Andrés Marcos (after Eusebio Francisco Kino and Fernando Consag)]. Carte de la Californie Levée par la Société des Jesuites Dédiée au Roy D’Espagne en 1757. [below neat line at lower left] J.D. Philippin geb. Sysangin Sc. Copper-engraved folded map.31 x 20 cm; overall sheet size: 31.5 x 20.5 cm. Light wear at juncture of map and book (no losses), otherwise fine. Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America #587, p. 336, pp. 154-155. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 138n & I, p. 85 (citing first appearance in the 1757 Venegas published at Madrid). The map shows the Baja peninsula, north of the juncture of the Colorado and Gila rivers, and western Mexico from Rio Azul and Rio Salado to south of Sinaloa. Place names are mostly in French (the map was re-engraved from the French first edition in 1767). Tucson (“Tuesani”) is located slightly south of the Gila River. The Province of Sonora has the “n” backwards. Place names include Casas Grandes, Province of Sonora, Gila River (noting the missions founded by Kino and mountains), etc. The mainland of Mexico is filled with place names, usually after tribe names and along rivers. Among the tribes located are Moqui, Apache, Yuma, Papago, Pima, Hoabonoma (Yuma), Cocomaricopa, and many more. The Native American names were based upon a combination of sources, partly from verbal description, and some from drawings, such as Tirsch, et al. Most important, the Gulf of California and the mouth of the Colorado River are shown correctly. The map is Burriel’s interpretation of Kino’s 1701 map with Consag’s refinements. Lady engraver Johanna Dorothea Sysang (1729, Dresden-1791, Leipzig) created the map after the map found in the French edition, which in turn follows the English map, itself copied after the original Spanish edition of 1757). The French titles and place names were retained. Johanna Dorothea learned the art of engraving from her father, Johann Christoph. She engraved small portraits of princes, the learned, and officers. She also produced ten plates for Klopstock's 1756 edition of Messie. In 1755, she married G. Philipp and thereafter signed her name as on the present map.

     First German edition (first edition 1757, “the first history of California”—Streeter Sale 2433). These first two volumes of the three-volume German edition contain Venegas' manuscript. The third volume is dated 1770, and is frequently lacking. The third volume contained extracts from López de Gomara and Torquemada relating to early explorations on the northwest coast, and several articles by Burriel. Backer VIII:559. Barrett, Baja California 2537. JCB III (1, 1700-1771) #1710. Cowan II, p. 658. Graesse VII:275. Howes V69. Lada-Mocarski 14n.

     Mathes, Historiography of the Californias: Imprints of the Colonial Period, 1552-1821 #50: “Although Burriel was quite unhappy with the published result of his work, this first history of the mysterious California was in high demand: it was translated in a substantial abridgement into English and published in London in 1759, and from this into Dutch (1761-1762), French (1766-1767), and German (1769-1770).” Palau 358392. Sabin 98846. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 132c. Zamorano 80 78. Medina, BHA (3855n) lists the various foreign editions of Venegas, but curiously, this rare edition is not mentioned at all.

     Translator Johann Christoph Adelung (1732-1806), German grammarian and philologist, wrote voluminously and contributed to the refinement of his native tongue. His interest in linguistics extended to America and included the languages of America (see Pilling 28, citing his massive four-volume Mithridates, Berlin 1806-1817, with almost 150 Native American dialects with vocabularies, grammar, etc.). 


Auction 23 Abstracts

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