9 June 2004
[PLAUTIUS, Caspar (fl. 1621)]. Nova typis transacta navigatio Novi orbis Indiae Occidentalis... nunc primum e variis scriptoribus in unum collecta... Authore... Honorio Philophono. [Linz], 1621.
2o (278 x 180 mm). Engraved emblematic title with figures of St. Brendan and another Benedictine, at bottom a small map of the East and West Indies (295 x 180 mm. folded at lower portion of image, a few short tears), 18 engraved folding plates, woodcut diagrams in text, type-ornament head-pieces. Plate of Columbus with a map of the world, signed by Wolfgang Kilian. (Plate numbered 4 with tiny hole to upper right corner, plate numbered 18 bound in at p. 51 with small hole to lower margin, some minor marginal repairs to plates and text.) Modern red morocco gilt; red morocco pull-off by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
FIRST EDITION of this famous relation of the Benedictine missionaries who accompanied Columbus. The dedicatee Caspar Plautius, abbot of Seitenstetten in Lower Austria, is known to be in fact the author. Although laced with miraculous accounts, beginning with the mass celebrated by St. Brendan on the back of a whale (illustrated in plate 2), the narrative is full of authentic details of Caribbean customs, flora and fauna, and agricultural products. A specimen of music is given on pp. 35-36. The author accuses the Protestant de Brys' accounts of being filled with lies, and dwells on the barbaric cruelties of the natives in support of the notion that Satan ruled the native American religions. Alden and Landis 621/100; Palau 224762; Sabin 63367.
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