Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…. Pedro SARMIENTO DE GAMBOA.
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…

Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…
Viage al estrecho de Magallanes… en los años de 1579 y 1580…

Madrid: Imprenta Real de la Gazeta, 1768.

Small quarto, with three folding plates; a fine large copy, with ample margins, probably one of the large copies, printed on thicker paper, as noted by Sabin; contemporary vellum, with original ties and the title lettered in ink on spine.

A Mendaña veteran maps the Straits of Magellan

First edition, a lovely tall copy bound in contemporary limp vellum, from the library of the Spanish Infantes in exile. This is the first printing - from the manuscript in the Royal Library, Madrid - of this highly important sixteenth-century description of the Straits of Magellan and the first attempt to found a Spanish settlement on its shores. Sarmiento, who had sailed with Mendaña on the expedition which charted the Solomons in 1568, was sent to the Straits to intercept Drake but arrived too late. His subsequent exploration of the area convinced the Spanish to attempt settlements there, with Sarmiento given command of a sixteen ship fleet, but the venture failed and Sarmiento was captured by the British.

First edition, a lovely tall copy bound in contemporary limp vellum, from the library of the Spanish Infantes in exile. This is the first printing - from the manuscript in the Royal Library, Madrid - of this highly important sixteenth-century description of the Straits of Magellan and the first attempt to found a Spanish settlement on its shores. Sarmiento, who had sailed with Mendaña on the expedition which charted the Solomons in 1568, was sent to the Straits to intercept Drake but arrived too late. His subsequent exploration of the area convinced the Spanish to attempt settlements there, with Sarmiento given command of a sixteen ship fleet, but the venture failed and Sarmiento was captured by the British.
Nonetheless, Sarmiento's charting of the region was, as J.H. Parry signals (The Discovery of South America, London, 1979, pp. 285-9) 'the most serious and thorough exploration of Magellan's Strait in the sixteenth century - indeed the most thorough exploration ever made before the voyage of the Beagle in the nineteenth century.' In fact the officers of the Beagle were lost in admiration for Sarmiento's explorations, but also for his vainglorious attempts at settlement. Philip Parker King concluded: 'This was the first, and perhaps will be the last, attempt made to occupy a country, offering no encouragement for a human being; a region, where the soil is swampy, cold, and unfit for cultivation, and whose climate is thoroughly cheerless…'.
The ghastly fate of the settlement is recounted in the appendix also printed here, which is the harrowing account of Tomé Hernandez, the only survivor of the settlement established by Sarmiento at Rey Don Felipe (or Port Famine as it was aptly named by his rescuer, Thomas Cavendish). An English translation of this work is found in Clements Markham, Narratives of the Voyages of Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa, Hakluyt Society, 1895 (pp. 1-205, 352-75).

Provenance: Once owned by Antonio Pascual de Borbón (1755-1817), with his stamp, showing the letters 'S.D.S.Y.D.A.' enclosed within a crowned wreath, alongside the stamp used by the three Infantes, Fernando (later Ferdinand VII of Spain), Antonio and Francisco, while in exile during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain.

Hill, 1526; James Ford Bell, S112; Leclerc 1988; Medina BHC, 482; Palau, 302364; Sabin, 77094.

Price (AUD): $17,750.00  other currencies     Ref: #3810917

Condition Report