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The Rugendas Letters
Johann Moritz Rugendas’
first voyage to Brazil
“ … a great service to civilisation ”
… and for the great cruise ’round the world anyway
– Cornelis Koeman’s Copy –
Magellan – Pigafetta, Antonio. Magellan’s Voyage. A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation (1519-1522). Manuscript of 1525 of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University in French on vellum in black, red, and blue. 2, 99 ll.
With 23 colored full-page sketch-maps ,
among them one with the Philippine Islands
and innumerable colored initials, the larger ones decorated. Facsimile in the original size and the original colors. English translation and commentary by R. A. Skelton (5 ll., 195 pp., double full-page map + 23 full-page ills.). Facsimile + text vol. New Haven + London 1969. Sm. fol. Beige orig. cloth with red backstamping and blind tooled frontboards in subdivided red orig. cloth dual slipcase with mounted color ills.
Cornelis Koeman , De Bilt / Utrecht ,
with his map of the world-detail book-plate (Africa)
on the inside of the front boards of each volume. See Bonacker, Kartenmacher aller Länder und Zeiten, 1966, p. 132. – professor em. for cartography at Utrecht University, i. a. author of the monumental 6-vol. Atlantes Neerlandici, 1967/85. – See, too, below from his review of the publication here.
Dedicated to Edwin J. Beinecke who made this edition pssible. – Title in red + black and with colored ills. – Splendidly arranged edition on heavy paper, printed by Enschedé en Zoonen, Haarlem. – The fine decorative slipcase slightly pushed at the back edges, most minimally touched the back board of the text volume lower left, otherwise impeccable.
Prince’s Copy and “certainly the finest of all the manuscripts … as well as the most complete of the three French manuscripts existent”. Whether it is the one worked for the Grand Master of Rhodes must be left undecided. Former pre-possessor was Jean Cognet, chamberlain and pharmacist of the cardinal of the Lorraine, who dedicated it to Christophe de Gastinois, the secretary of the cardinal. 1720 in the possession of the abbey of St. Leopold in Nancy the further provenance should be quite complete up to Ed Beinecke in 1945. The manuscript in itself perfectly readable.
Pigafetta (about 1491 Vicenza about 1534; studies of mathematics + navigation,
see the large illustration of his monument on Mactan ,
where he was severely wounded, while Magellan found his death, within Witzani’s report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Aug. 13, 1992, p. R 3)
belonged to the only 18 survivors of the 270 setting out on Maghellan’s expedition .
And “Just this one little Rhodes knight, this odd and useless man, has brought Magellan’s great deed to our knowledge … Shakespeare uses a scene of Pigafetta’s logbook for his ‘Tempest’” (Stefan Zweig, Magellan – The Man and his Deed). The journal itself has not been preserved.
The edition here emphatically praised by Koeman :
(Imago Mundi XXIV, 1970, p. 151).