[VENEGAS, Miguel (1680-1764)]. Histoire naturelle et civile de la Californie. Paris: Durand, 1767.

$ 1,400.00

3 volumes. 12mo., (6 4/8 x 3 6/8 inches). Half-titles. Fine folding engraved map of California (one or two short tears at folds, small repair on verso, some offsetting), woodcut and typographic initials and head- and tailpieces.  Contemporary French green morocco backed marbled paper boards, the spines in 6 compartments with five raised bands, lettered in two, the others decorated with small gilt tools (discreet repairs to the joints and head and foot of each spine, corners scuffed).  

Provenance: 19th-century ink-stamp of P.A. Bergerot on preliminaries or half-titles, given to; the Ligue Nationale Francaise Bibliotheque, with library label recording the bequest and ink-stamp on half-titles and verso of folding map; bookplate of John Burkey on front paste-down.  

First edition in French. First published in Madrid in 1757: the earliest history of California. The work was widely disseminated during the decade following its publication through translations into English, French, Dutch and German. It remains one of the primary printed sources of the region's early colonial history. Attributed to Marc Antoine Eidous, the present "rather precise" French translation (Wagner) was made from the 1759 English version of the text. Venegas's name is nowhere mentioned, and the translation omits Appendices 6 and 7, De Lisle's Mémoire, and the account of the voyage of Admiral Fonte. The map of California reproduces the frontispiece map of the original edition, without the ten decorative border vignettes of the original. A variant issue of this edition is recorded, with the first title-page dated 1766.    Howes V-69; Wagner, Spanish Southwest 132b; Hill 1769; Sabin 98843. Catalogued by Kate Hunter