Lisbon, n.d. [towards 1752].
-[Followed by: II/ Noticia Certa do Descobrimento de huma Nova Terra, modernamente apparecida, e descoberta por huma nao Hespanhola… Lisbon, Domingos Rodrigues, 1757.
2 works in 1 volume small 4to of: I/ 8-8 pp., engraving of a ship with an island in the distance repeated on both titles; II/ 8 pp. Small tear in the title of the second work not touching the text, some browning. Preserved in wrappers.
Rare collection of two highly interesting descriptions of newly discovered islands.
I/ First edition of this work presenting the account of a French ship that left Nantes on April 4th 1752 and which discovered, at the south of the Cape of Good Hope, the “Ilha dos Bichos”, before arriving in Mozambiq
The title specifies that it is a Portuguese translation of a French text, but it is more likely a Portuguese work.
The description of the island discovered by the Frenchmen at the South of the Cape of Good Hope also contains the portrayal of a ferocious animal living on the island, with a body half-snake half-lion. It also gives a very accurate vision of the inhabitants dressed in leaves that the navigators found on this island, with an explanation of their way of hunting wild animals.
It is difficult to understand which island is described in the present work, or even if it is real or imaginary. The Portuguese translation of the French name of the island is “Ilha dos Bichos”.
We have not found any original French title corresponding to this work, which let us believe that this edition printed in Lisbon would be in fact the first edition and not a translation as the title suggests.
Our researches allowed us to locate only 2 copies of the first text and 1 copy of the second text among all the Institutions in the world: 1 copy of the first part at Harvard University, 1 copy of the 2 parts gathered at the Newberry Library. II/ The second text relates the discovery, by a Spanish ship loaded with spices and steering from America for Cadiz, of an island located in the Atlantic. « A curious little tract describing the ‘discovery’ of an island in the Atlantic, by a Spanish ship travelling from America to Cadiz; with notes on the causes which produce the phenomenon of islands in the sea.” (Bibliotheca americana et philippina, IV, p. 223). Our researches allowed us to locate 4 copies of this rare text among all the Institutions in the world: Harvard University, Newberry Library, N.Y.P.L. and John Carter Brown Library.