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Tratado dos Descombrimentos Antigos, e Modernos feitos ate a era de 1550
Lisbon: Officina Ferreiriana, 1731. Quarto, xvi, 100pp., with a woodblock portrait of the author; front hinge starting yet a fine copy in nineteenth century marbled boards. Important account of early exploration to the year 1550, including descriptions of discoveries in the Americas by Cortes, Cabral, Pizarro, Cabot and Grenville. The author, Antonio de Galvao, served as a Portuguese governor of the Moluccas for a three year term from 1536 and was remarkable for his humane and enlightened administration. Galvao died in 1557 and his valuable manuscripts passed to the Royal archives where they were edited for the first edition of 1563. Howgego notes that information relating to the Moluccas and Spice Islands was omitted to protect lucrative Portuguese trading interests in the region. The first edition has always been very rare - indeed Hakluyt complained that he was unable to obtain it and relied on a copy sent from Lisbon when preparing his English translation of 1601. Likewise this second edition of 1731 fared little better as Sabin laments 'the greater portion having been destroyed by an earthquake.' The book is a chronological history of discovery from ancient times to the revelation of the Americas, the last included being the English expedition under Richarte Trebuli (Sir Richard Grenville). It is especially rich in information on the Conquistadores given the author's close association with the Royal Court and access to confidential information concerning lucrative interests in Central and South America. Significantly, Galvao did not discriminate against the English in compiling his account and includes Sebastian Cabot's discovery of North America. This edition of 1731 is beautifully printed, noteworthy for its striking title-page printed in red and black, elegant composition and a full length woodblock portrait of the author in armour.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-13           Check availability:      Biblio    

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