Relación del Viage… al descubrimiento del estrecho nuevo de San Vicente…
Relación del Viage… al descubrimiento del estrecho nuevo de San Vicente, que hoy es nombrado de Maire, y reconocimiento del de Magallanes…

Cádiz: Manuel Espinosa de los Monteros, Impressor de la Real Marina, 1766 or 1769.

Two parts in one work, small quarto, with a folding map; a beautiful crisp copy in a fine binding of brown morocco, gilt, all edges gilt, by Brugalla.

The Straits of Magellan

Second edition, including for the first time the important Derrotas, the instructions for navigation within the Americas, and itself scarce: the original 1621 edition of the book is only very rarely seen on the market and was a famous rarity even in the 1860s when Sabin described it as "one of the rarest books of its class" (the Hill catalogue called it "one of the rarest books on voyages of the 17th century", and even Streeter had to settle for an incomplete copy). This is the most accessible edition by a long chalk, on grounds of both rarity and price. Published 150 years after the original voyage, it is significant in publishing information deriving from the Spanish quest for a passage into the South Sea, after news of the earlier Dutch discoveries in the Straits of Magellan had reached them.

Second edition, including for the first time the important Derrotas, the instructions for navigation within the Americas, and itself scarce: the original 1621 edition of the book is only very rarely seen on the market and was a famous rarity even in the 1860s when Sabin described it as "one of the rarest books of its class" (the Hill catalogue called it "one of the rarest books on voyages of the 17th century", and even Streeter had to settle for an incomplete copy). This is the most accessible edition by a long chalk, on grounds of both rarity and price. Published 150 years after the original voyage, it is significant in publishing information deriving from the Spanish quest for a passage into the South Sea, after news of the earlier Dutch discoveries in the Straits of Magellan had reached them.

This voyage marked the Spanish reflex reaction to the Dutch discovery of the Le Maire Strait (called San Vicente by the Spanish); it had been discovered by Le Maire and Schouten during their 1616 voyage in search of the Southern Continent. The Dutch success alarmed the Spanish - but they were also interested in a safer means of passage into the South Sea; they therefore sent out two caravels under the command of the brothers Bartolome Garcia de Nodal and Goncalo de Nodal, to report on the Le Maire and Schouten discoveries.

"This was the first circumnavigation of Tierra del Fuego. The whole voyage, out and back, had taken only nine months and twelve days: 'a period which, in the present state of navigation, would be reckoned very short for the performance of such a voyage, and was then unprecedented' (Burney) - many a Dutch and English ship took longer just to reach Cabo Virgines. The ships had never once separated, and except for one man hanged at Rio for plotting mutiny, there was not a single death. Rapid as the voyage was, it was not scamped; the Nodals brought back careful and clear sailing instructions and paid unusual attention to tidal observations. Their conduct of the voyage was indeed a model of decision and efficiency; but they fell victims to the general slackness which was creeping over Spanish naval affairs: the Spain of Philip III was not that of Philip II" (Spate II, p. 26).

The second part is new to this edition: separately paginated, it has its own title-page (Instruccion exacta, y util de las derrotas, y navegaciones, que se executan en todos tiempos en la America Septentrional … Sacala a luz D. Manuel de Echevelar … Año de 1753. Con Licencia: en Cádiz

Provenance: Private collection (Sydney).

Borba de Moraes, p. 616; James Ford Bell, N189; Medina, 'Hispano-Chilena', 468; Palau, 99486.

Price (AUD): $14,850.00  other currencies Ref: #4505114