Sale 624 Lot 94
* HERRERA Y TORDESILLAS, Antonio de (1559-1625). Description des Indes Occidentales, Qu'on appelle aujourdhuy Le Nouveau Monde:... Avec La Navigation du vaillant Capitaine de Mer Jaques le Maire, & de plusiers autres. Amsterdam: Michel Colin, 1622.
Folio (295 x 194 mm). Engraved title, engraved portrai of Le Mairet, 17 engraved double-page or folding maps and charts, 5 engraved illustrations in-text. (Title-page a little soiled, a few minor nicks or repairs, browning and toning to margins and maps.) Contemporary Dutch limp vellum, yapp edges, later ties; quarter morocco slipcase.
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH. The map on the engraved title is the FIRST TO DELINEATE CALIFORNIA AS AN ISLAND. "The volume is valuable as containing the first edition of the genuine Voyage of Le Maire (also issued in Latin and Dutch in the same year) as distinguished from that which had been published by Blaeu under the name of Cornelius Schouten, who had commanded one of Le Maire's vessels. (see lot 174). It concludes with the Spanish and English voyages to Magellan's Straits and the descriptions of America given by Ordoñez de Cevallos and Bertius" (Sabin). According to Sabin, the French translation does not have the engraved portrait, which is present in this copy.
Jacob Le Maire's journal provides an early account of circumnavigation and Pacific exploration. In the face of the Dutch East India Company monopoly on all trading voyages east of the Cape of Good Hope and west of South America through the Straits of Magellan, Isaac Le Maire (Jacob's father) founded a merchant's Compagne Australe to undertake a voyage to the East southward of the lands they controlled. They discovered the Strait of La Maire, between Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island, and proved that Tierra del Fuego was an island; they were the first to round the Cape of Good Horn from the East. Reaching Batavia, the Unity and her valuable cargo were impounded by the Dutch East India Company, and Le Maire, Schouten (Captain of the voyage) and ten men were imprisoned and shipped back to Holland for infringing the Company's monopoly. They sailed with Spilbergen (see lot 190) who was completing his circumnavigation for the Dutch East India Company. Wilhelm Schouten's equally rare account of the 1615-16 circumnavigation was published in 1618 but little of it was actually written by him. His journal was suppressed by the Dutch East India Company and heavily edited by the map publisher Willem Blaeu. Alden & Landis 622/67; Borba de Moraes I, p.400; Sabin 31543.
Provenance: Middle Temple Library (early inkstamp on endpaper, title-page, verso of last leaf, later withrawn stamp on free endpaper).