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Maffei's account of the East and West Indies

MAFFEI, Joan Petro.
Historiarum Indicarum libri XVI. Selectarum, item, ex India epistolarum libri IV...
Antwerp, Martinus Nutius, 1605. 8vo. With woodcut device on title-page and woodcut initials. Contemporary vellum with faint manuscript title on spine and a small gilt-stamped rooster in the centre of the boards, remains of ties. [72], 478, [2 blank]; 401, [7] pp.
€ 6,500
Early 17th-century edition of a classic work on "the Indies", including both the West and East Indies, considered the best (Sabin) and the most complete (Borba de Moraes) of the many Latin editions. Most of Maffei's work is concerned with the Portuguese conquests and the Jesuit stations in India, the East Indies, and regions around the Arabian Sea to about 1557. The first 5 books appear to follow rather closely the model of Barros. Book VI, dealing with China and book XII, which is mainly concerned with Japan, are heavily indebted to Valignano's account of those countries. The second part includes a selection of Jesuit letters written from the Indies and translated by Maffei.
The work by John Hay (1546-1618), De rebus Japonicis, Indicis, et Peruanis Epistolae recentiores, called for on the title, is not present as with the most copies. It has its own title-page and was issued (also) separately.
Title-page somewhat frayed, some quires a bit browned and some faint marginal water stains, otherwise in very good condition. Lacking endpapers, and top of the spine slightly damaged, otherwise good. Alt-Japan-Katalog 916; De Backer & Sommervogel V, col. 298; Borba de Moraes, p. 509; Cordier, Japonica, col. 64; Sabin 43773 ("The best of the various editions in Latin, see Ternaud, p. 39"), cf. Lach I, pp. 325-326.
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