16 - 17 April 2007
GIRAVA, Hieronymus (d.1556). Dos libros de cosmographia. Milan: G.A. Castiglione and C. Carron, 1556.
4o (217 x 160 mm). Folding woodcut world map (280 x 407 mm) (a few tape reinforcements along folds on verso). (Wormtracks in upper margin of gatherings Y-2E, some pale dampstaining.) 18th-century mottled calf, spine gilt with floral tools, citron morocco lettering piece (some wear at extremities); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Augustinian Hermits (17th-century inscription); T. Norton (ink stamp on title, inscription on pastedown: "T. Norton. Pte. de Lima 13 Dec. 1841. Affe. de Fornellos").
FIRST EDITION. Girava's Cosmographia is divided into two books. In the second book (pages 186-242), "India ó Nuevo mundo," describes Brazil and the longitudes of its extremities. The world map is based on that of Vopel, though it is reduced in size. "Girava's woodcut map is uncommon, and it is often missing from the volume in which it first appeared. The author, cosmographer to the Emperor Charles V, has drawn a much simplified version of the large world map by Casper Vopel, the contemporary German cartographer from Cologne. All Vopel's world maps--supposedly of 1545, 1549 and 1552--have perished and only derivatives by Vavassore (1558) and Van den Putte (1570) have survived... Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean in 1513 is noted, and there is an interesting inscription across the southern continent saying that it was sighted in 1499: this has given rise to considerable speculation" (Shirley).
VERY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only two copies have sold in the last 30 years, this copy when it was previously sold (anonymous owner, Sotheby's London, 23 April 1987, lot 185) and the John Evelyn copy (sold twice). Alden & Landis 556/21; Borba de Moraes I:299 ("extremely rare"); Sabin 27504 (1570 edition only); Shirley 101; Wagner Northwest Coast II:279.
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