LES SINGVLARITEZ DE LA FRANCE ANTARCTIQVE, AVTREMENT NOMMEE AMERIQUE...
1558·Aanvers [i.e. Antwerp]
by Thevet, Andre
Aanvers [i.e. Antwerp]: De l'imprimerie de Christophle Plantin..., 1558. ,163, leaves. 20th-century red calf, spine gilt. Light rubbing to extremities. Bookplates on front pastedown. Light soiling, minor foxing. Very good. One of the foundation works of New World discovery, containing one of the first extensive descriptions of Canada, one of the three classic accounts of Brazil in the 16th century, and some of the best early illustrations of American Indians and American animals (including the first depiction of the buffalo). Thevet originally went to the New World with the Villegagnon expedition in 1555 to colonize Brazil. The whole first section of this work is devoted to Brazil, and with the narratives of Lery and Staden, it ranks as one of the great early accounts of that country, its natives and fauna. The latter includes one of the first descriptions of tobacco, which Thevet is generally credited with introducing to France upon his return. Borba de Moraes calls this volume "a book of the greatest importance to Brazil." It is equally important as one of the first works relating to Canada, which Thevet claims to have visited after coasting north during his return from Brazil to France. Thirty pages are devoted to a description of Canada and Newfoundland, preceded in date of publication only by Cartier, and Ramusio's description of Cartier. "One of the rarest of Canadiana, only a few copies are known. In this book one finds one of the earliest accounts of Newfoundland, and a first account of the fauna and flora in Canada" - Lande. There are extensive descriptions of the natives, their dress and way of life. Much of this information is probably based on Cartier. Another primary point of interest is the woodcuts which adorn the text. These excellent illustrations, evidently from life, are some of the earliest illustrations of American Indians and American animals. The Brazilian scenes accurately depict Indian ceremonies, warfare and customs. The Canadian Indian plates show the use of snowshoes in hunting. The first depiction of the buffalo is the most celebrated of the natural history plates, but there are many others. These illustrations were extensively copied, especially by De Bry, and many became the points of origin for New World iconography. This is the first Antwerp edition of Thevet, issued the year after the extraordinarily rare Paris 1557 edition. There is another Paris edition of 1558 as well. This was one of the first books printed by the celebrated Plantin family of printers. All three early editions are very rare. STREETER SALE 21. LANDE 833. BORBA DE MORAES, p.858. CHURCH 108. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 558/41. SABIN 95440. JCB (3)I:202.
(Inventory #: WRCAM51621)
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