Cosmopoli [i.e. Florence]. 1780. Two volumes. 275,; 318,pp. plus folding engraved map. Engraved vignette of a American Indian on each titlepage. Contemporary vellum, gilt spines with lettering blocked in blue. Occasional fox mark on latter leaves of second volume. A very good set. Item #WRCAM21765
A scarce Italian work on the origins of American Indians. In these letters, Count Carli exhibits his wide reading and knowledge of native American culture to refute the widely held European idea that America supported retrograde life forms. He writes about the origin, organization, epochs of nature, etc., of American natives, seeing America as a great example of liberty and toleration. "Confutes de Pauw's Recherches...sur les Americains, and ascribes the origin of the American natives to the Atlantides" - Howes. "A discussion of the origins of the American Indians, including a substantial bibliography of the literature of New World exploration" - Bell. The handsome folding map, which was overlooked by Howes, consists of three insets: the Bering Strait (showing California and Japan), the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator (showing the proximity of South America and Africa), and a profile of the sea floor between South America and Africa. Field records only a French edition of 1788. The present Florence edition is the first edition in book form. HOWES C149. SABIN 10911. BELL C74. SAMUEL HOUGH, ITALIANS AND THE CREATION OF AMERICA (JCB EXHIBITION) 94. FIELD 243 (1788 French ed).