Sampaloc [Philippines]: Convento de Ntra. Sra. de Loreto, 1736. ,219,pp. Printed on rice paper. Small quarto. Antique-style mottled calf, ornately gilt, by Palomino. First few leaves brittle with slight cracking and minor loss, else in excellent condition. Very good. In a half morocco box. Item #WRCAM46969
A remarkable survival of early Philippine printing, the extremely rare first book printed in Sampaloc (at that time a separate village but now in central Manila) and the second edition of the first grammar of the Panpanga language of Bataan and Bulacan in Manila Bay. Panpanga bears similarities to Tagalog (which is the subject of most early Philippine linguistic works) but with more Malay and Sanskrit words. The work was first printed in Manila at the Jesuit Press in 1729. The compiler, Diego Bergaño (1690- 1747), was the Augustinian Provincial for the Philippines and Prior of the Convent at Bacolor.
Printing started in the Philippines remarkably early, in 1593 (the unique example of the founding imprint is in the Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress), and was conducted by presses run by the different religious orders. Because of the climate and limited press runs, early imprints are notoriously rare, and generally in very poor condition when found. This is especially true of works printed on rice paper, such as this. A number of imprints recorded by Medina are known from references only, with no surviving copies. In the case of this work, only four copies are noted in OCLC (three in England and one in Germany). Medina based his entry on the copy in the British Library.
An important early imprint and linguistic work, in remarkable condition for a work of its origin. PALAU 27815. RETANA, INVENTARIO 88. TAVERA 274. BRUNET I:783-784, "ouvrage rare." MEDINA, IMPRENTA DE MANILA 197.