VESPUCCI, Amerigo (1454-1512). Mondus novus. Augsburg: Johannes Otmar, 1504.
4º (200 x 138mm). 4 leaves. Gothic letter, 3 woodcut astronomical diagrams. (Washed.) Red crushed morocco by Chambolle-Duru, title lettered in gilt on spine, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges. Provenance: Arthur Young (1741-1820, pencil note about the sale of his library, at Sotheby’s in December 1896) – Sir Henry Hope Edwardes, 10th Baronet (1829-1900: bookplate and inscription 'very rare 3rd voyage,' recording price of '£78 at Arthur Young's sale, 1896').
Third edition, second issue – the earliest with an imprint – of the first printed account of Brazil. The two preceding editions, published in Paris and Venice, are undated but assigned by Sabin to 1503 and 1504 respectively. In this crucial epistolary report, Amerigo Vespucci informed his patron Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de’ Medici about his third voyage to the West carried out in the service of King Emmanuel of Portugal between May 1501 and September 1502. The expedition reached the coast of what is now Brazil, near Cape St. Roque, and kept sailing southwards, possibly as far as 50 degrees south. Ashore, Vespucci met natives of both sexes, whom he describes as naked cannibals wearing colourful ornaments in their perforated ears, noses and lips. As a pioneer in exploration and skilled astronomer, he not only gave his name to the New World, but was also the first to measure the positions of the most important southern stars, including Canopus. A brief description of them, along with three star diagrams, appears for the first time in this work, which was simultaneously published in different European cities around 1504. These early editions were pivotal in establishing the fame of Vespucci and are all of great rarity.
VERY RARE. No copy of this edition on the market since 1953. Alden 504/7; Borba de Moraes 909; Church 20; Harrisse 31; Sabin 99330; VD16 V933 (only one recorded copy in Germany).