1783-1788 · Madrid
The official Spanish documentation of the scientific voyage of the frigate St. Maria de la Cabeza to the Straits of Magellan, the gateway to the Pacific. The expedition served the purpose of gathering scientific and hydrographic information and typified the efforts Spain was making to stimulate research and exploration in her colonies. The second half of the relacion chronicles the historic voyages through the straits, from Magellan and Drake to Bougainville. The maps are fine examples of rare 18th-century Spanish cartography. Two of the charts are detailed delineations of the South American tip and the Tierra del Fuego region, while the other two depict ports along the Straits of Magellan. The appendix includes a description of the Peruvian people. After these expeditions, the Spanish trade routes were exclusively to east coast ports and then overland to Pacific ports. José de Vargas Ponce was a midshipman and later appointed Second Lieutenant and was a member of the Real Academia de la Historia where he worked with Banza and the mathematician Vicente Tofino where he contributed in the publishing the Martime Atlas of Spain. In 1787 he published his description of the Pithiusas and Balearic Islands.
.Lacks one map. Appendix rubbed and scuffed. Corners bumped else a very nice set. (Inventory #: E0532)