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    "One of the Most Important Works about the Congo"

    Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi. Istorica descrittione de' tre regni Congo, Matamba, et Angola situati nell' Etiopia inferiore occidentale e delle missioni apostoliche esercitatevi da Religiosi Capuccini, accuratamente compilata dal P. Gio. Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo, sacerdote Capuccino, il quale vi fu' prefetto ; e nel presente stile ridotta dal P. Fortunato Alamandini da Bologna, predicatore dell' istesso ordine. Milan: Nelle Stampe dell'Agnelli, 1690.

    Second edition (first published in Bologna in 1687) of "one of the most important works about the Congo" (Borba de Moraes). Small quarto (8.6875 x 6.375 inches; 221 x 161 mm.). [16], 785, [1] pages. Engraved allegorical frontispiece, engraved folding map, and forty-one engraved plates, seven of which are full-page and thirty-four half-page. Typographic head-pieces, decorative and historiated woodcut initials, decorative woodcut tail-piece. Publisher's device on title page.

    Contemporary limp vellum with the original clasps. Spine lettered in ink with four raised bands. Early ink initials on front cover. Binding worn and somewhat stained, extremities rubbed, spine ends chipped, small burn (?) hole at head of spine, small portion of foot of spine missing. Light dampstaining in the outer margin of the first six leaves; tiny tear to the lower margin of the folding map at the fold; short tear to the lower portion of the title, through the imprint but not affecting any text; lower corner of B7 (pages 29/30) repaired, with loss of a few letters; lower corner of E8 (pages 79/80) repaired with no loss; paper flaw to lower corner of I5 (pages 137/138) and lower margin of K3 (pages 149/150); small adhesion to p. 155, affecting a couple of letters. Overall, still, a very good copy, with the plates quite clean and crisp. Bookplate of John Ralph Willis on front pastedown.

    "Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi, born in Montecuccolo in the province of Modena, was a Capuchin monk sent to the Congo in 1654 as a catechist, where he stayed for thirty-seven years, until 1691. He made a brief journey to Rome in 1670 in the service of the mission, returning to Africa immediately afterwards. He died in Genoa in 1692. His is one of the most important works about the Congo. Apart from the description of the mission, it contains extensive information about the region, which was at the time very little known. It is a veritable geographical treatise of true scientific merit. Shortly after the expulsion of the Dutch, Cavazzi called at Pernambuco and Bahia, during the administration of 'Giovani Telo de Silva'. He describes his sojourn, the country and 'gli animali et altri de quelle'. In one of the chapters he recounts 'the victory achieved by the Portuguese over the Dutch, who were occupying Pernambuco'" (Borba de Moraes). From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.

    Borba de Moraes I, page 171. Brunet I, col. 1699. Gay 3070. Graesse I, p. 50 (under Alamandini). Sabin 11592.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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