Amberes (Antwerp), Jean Baptiste Verdussen, . Folio (29.7 x 20.9 cm). Title page, three finely engraved plates (title page and frontispieces preceding chapters) by J. Mulder, [xvi], 599, [vii] pp. Contemporary vellum. Spine with contemporary script title.
A very rare work, in a very good contemporary binding, by the Spanish writer, bishop, and gouvernor of Panamá, Lucas Fernández [de] Piedrahíta (1624-1688). According to Sabin (vol. 15, p. 97) this is "a work of the highest importance for the early history of New Grenada". The work deals with the conquest of the Americas by the Spanish. It is particularly interesting because of the descriptions of the habits of the indigenous people of the Viceroyalty of New Granada" (present-day Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, southwestern Surinam, parts of northwestern Brazil, northern Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua). It also contains a detailed history of the Spanish invaders in the area up to the year 1563. Piedrahíta was born in Bogotá, and probably partly of Indian descent. He became a bishop and was captured, tortured, and later released by the famous English pirate Sir Henry Morgan after sacking the town of Santa Marta. The finely engraved title pages show battle scenes, and both the foremost Indian (chapter one) and Spanish (chapter three) leaders. Old, short annotation on the half title, rear flyleaf with some marginal paper loss, a few skilful paper repairs. "The work in any condition is very rare" (Field). Only very few copies came to auction over the past 45 years and this is definitely the one in the best condition. A fine copy. Field 1215; Sabin, 62704.