[Madrid]: Benito Cano, 1791. ,318pp. plus engraved plate and folding map. Small quarto. 19th-century Mexican tree calf, spine gilt, gilt leather label. Moderate edge wear and rubbing, with a few small wormholes along the joints. Remnants of book label on front pastedown. Some foxing to the plate, tiny marginal tear to map at binding stub. A bit of light foxing, but quite clean overall. A very good copy. Item #WRCAM55256
This copy bears the bookplate of Joaquín García Icazbalceta (1825-94), the noted Mexican historian, bibliographer, and philologist on the front pastedown. A rare history of Chile from the time of Pizarro's invasion forward, including descriptions of resources, climate, and customs of the Indians of the south Chilean island province of Chiloe. The author, Pedro Gonzalez de Agueros would later become Archbishop of Lima. Of great interest is an early account of Tahiti, which appears on pages 251-314 under the heading "Noticias practicas, e individuales de las islas nombradas vulgarmente de Otahiti ó Carolinas situadas en el mar del sud, ó Pacifico." The island had been discovered as recently as 1770. The expedition to Tahiti and adjacent islands was undertaken in 1774 by two Franciscans from Lima, and the text includes an account of their stay from November 1774 to November 1775. The attractive engraved map, "Mapa de la Provincia y Archipielago de Chiloe...," locates numerous cities and islands. Described as "rare" in the Harmsworth sale. Not in the Hill catalogue, though there is a copy in the Hill Collection at UC San Diego. SABIN 27822. PALAU 104963. MEDINA (CHILE) 625. O'REILLY & REITMAN 7143. HARMSWORTH 21:7206.