GONZALEZ CABRERA BUENO, José (c. 1670 - after 1733)
Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica, con la Explicación de algunos Instrumentos, que están mas en uso en los Navegantes … …
Manila : Impresa en el Convento de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de la Orden de Nro. Seraphico Padre San Francisco, 1734. First edition. Folio (315 x 210 mm), contemporary limp vellum (lacking ties, some age staining, small loss at front bottom corner), spine with title in manuscript in black ink; printed on rice and rag paper; title page set within decorative border; pp , 392, , with 13 folding engraved copper plates, numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams, tables, engraved head- and tailpieces; some of the plates with browning or offsetting, occasional very light spotting, title with small hole at fore-edge margin; a very good example, housed in a custom morocco clamshell case, ornately gilt.
Extremely rare first edition of the first navigation manual printed in the Philippines.
The author, José Gonzalez Cabrera Bueno (c. 1670 – after 1733), was an admiral and a master navigator on the route taken by Spanish ships between Acapulco (New Spain) and Manila. His work addresses comprehensively all of the theoretical and practical aspects of navigation; the plates, by the Filipino engraver Nicolás de la Cruz Bagay, illustrate the various instruments used in this science. It also contains extensive mathematical tables and specific sailing directions for the coast of California and west coast of Mexico as far as Acapulco, the Pacific, the ports of Asia, and the route from the Philippines to Spain via the Cape of Good Hope. The manual was highly regarded and continued to be used well after Cabrera Bueno’s lifetime; for example, in the California expeditions of navigators Gaspar de Portolá, Vicente Vila, and Juan Pérez. This work is significant not only for its early instructions for sailing to the Philippine Islands, but also for its early description of what is now the state of California in the United States.
Medina, Manila 189; Palau 105121; Wagner, Spanish Southwest 97