15 July 2005
JEAN BAPTISTE MALLAT DE BASSILAN (1806-1863)
Les Philippines. Histoire, Géographie, Moeurs, agriculture, industrie et commerce des colonies Espagnols dans l'Océanie. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1846. 2 vols. 8° and 2° Atlas (232 x 152mm). Vol. II with two folding plates. (Occasional spotting.) Contemporary calf and marbled boards. Atlas with folding map of the Philippines hand-coloured in outline and 18 plates being 10 hand-coloured lithographic costume plates on 5 leaves, 7 maps on 4 leaves, and 1 leaf of music. (Some foxing on plate margins and map.) Modern half calf and nineteenth century marbled boards. Provenance: Atlas with the engraved bookplate of the Imperial Russian Naval College Library at Sebastopol.
FIRST EDITION WITH THE VERY RARE ATLAS of a work of considerable merit tracing the development of the Philippines from its first discovery by Europeans, the geography of its provinces and indigenous people, its civil, military and ecclesiastical government, industry, commerce and education. It was later plagiarized by Manuel Buzeta and Felipe Bravo for their "Diccionario geográfico" 1851. Mallat himself seems to have followed a similar survey made by Sinibaldo de Mas in his "Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas" 1843. Much of Mallat's work on this books was done in the Philippines where he was attached to the Hospital de San Juan de Dios in Manila. In 1908 Robertson wrote that he had never seen a copy of the Atlas. Robertson 134; Retana 747; Tavera 1591. (3)
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