Histoire naturelle, civile et géographique de l'Orenoque et des principales rivières qui s'y jettent. Dans laquelle on traite du gouvernement, des usages et des coutûmes des Indiens qui l'habitent, des animaux, des arbres...
Avignon, Marseille, Desaint et Saillant, 1758. In three volumes. 12mo (16.5 x 9.5 cm). One large folded engraved map of the area of the Venezuelan river Orinoco and two folded engraved plates. Contemporary uniform mottled calf with gilt vignette on front board of the first volume. Spines with gilt floral pattern and red and green morocco labels with gilt titles. Marbled flyleaves. Edges dyed red.
According to Sabin, "The work of Gumilla is one of the most curious and interesting hitherto published upon the country of the Orinoco". José Gumilla (1686-1750) "...was a Jesuit priest who wrote a natural history of the Orinoco River region. In 1705 he left Spain for New Granada (today Colombia) where he studied at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. He was ordained in 1714 and went to the Orinoco Mission. In 1701 he went to Venezuela and worked there for 35 years. He was sometime Rector of the School of Cartagena, Provincial Superior of New Granada, and Procurator in Rome from 1738. Here he wrote El Orinoco Ilustrado (Madrid, 1741). He returned to South America in 1743 with Filippo Salvatore Gilii. Gumilla introduced coffee into Venezuela in 1732. The beans were exported to Brazil" (Wikipedia). French translation of the first Spanish edition published in Madrid 1741. It describes the flora, fauna and the pre-Columbian remains and customs of the Indian tribes in that region. Boards a bit rubbed, endpapers a bit stained, otherwise a very good, clean, unmarked set. Sabin, 29277.