Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.


Geographical treatise, with sections on North America as well as many other...

Sold for £1500

Est: £2000–3000

Geographical treatise, with sections on North America as well as many other countries , in Italian, followed by a short verse treatise on geography in French, manuscript on paper [Italy, mid-eighteenth century]

162 leaves (plus 1 blank endleaf at front and back, but including 3 blank leaves at end of main text and before index and 1 blank but ruled leaf at end of index), complete, contemporary pagination in ink 1-320, single column of c. 33 lines in a number of scrawling Italian hands, some titles in larger form of same, one page with table “Tavoli de climi”, some errors crossed out or lined through, overall in fair and presentable condition, 220 by 170mm.; contemporary binding of calf over pasteboards, cracking at spine

The main text here is a wide-ranging discussion of the eighteenth-century world, which frequently cites dates in the first half of the eighteenth century. After discussions of general aspects of global geography, natural landmarks and the equipment of cartography, it opens with a lengthy section on mainland Europe (p. 54), including Spain (p. 65), Portugal (p. 81), France (p. 85), the Low Countries and Germanic speaking nations south of Germany proper (p. 105, in which an early owner had evidently traveled, as they corrected German placenames in the margin of p. 109), Flanders (p. 111), Switzerland and its cantons (p. 115), Italy (p. 121), Germany proper (p. 160) and Prussia (p. 196), “Turchia Europea” (p. 197) followed by Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Dalmatia and Albania, Poland and “Curlandia”, Russia (p. 218), Sweden (p. 222), Norway (p. 225), Denmark (p. 226) and Lapland, the British Isles (p. 231) with England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland, Asia (p. 241) with Arabia, Georgia, Siberia and others, Persia (p. 249), India (p. 251), China (p. 254), Africa (p. 258) with sections on Abyssinia and the Congo. The final section, from p. 270 onwards concerns “America, delle terre incognito, e Nuove Scoperte”. After a description of its discovery and general features, America is divided into “la Nuova Francia, L’America Inglese, La Florida … Nuovo Messico e la California”, mentioning “Boston, Plimouch e Salem”, New York (as “Nuova Jorc”), “Nuova Jersei”, “Pensilvania … e Filadelfia”, the abortive Delaware colony of New Sweden as “Nuova Suezia”, “Baltimor, Bristol, Patmer, e Newcastle”, Fredriksburg (as “Fridvigboug”), Maryland (“Mariland”), Charleston (“Carleston”) which is the “capitale” of “La Carolina”, Georgia and “fiume Mississipi”. Mention is also made of Canada, with its principal city “Quebech”, and South America, discussing Peru and Chile (p. 280), Santiago and Paraguay (p. 281), the Amazon and Brazil (p. 282). The text ends with a note of “Groenlandia” (p. 286). It should be noted that the author of this manuscript appears not to know of the division of North and South Carolina, an event which happened in 1712, and the manuscript almost certainly dates to before the signing of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
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