Extremely rare map of part of the Spice Islands (Sulawesi and Halmahera), published by Cipriano Bagay in Manila, one of the few maps published in the Philippines in the 18th Century.
The map extends from an area called "Allias Buen-Fin" in the north to "Parte de la Isla de Celebes" in the southwest and "Parte de la Nueva Guinea" in the southeast and includes Isla de Gilolo, among other larger islands.
The publication history of this map is difficult to establish. The map seems to have appeared in volume 1 of of Juan de La Concepcion's Historia General de Philipinas, published in Manila (1788-92), one of 9 maps to appear in this work. We find only a single reference to this map as appearing in the book (1864 Bernard Quaritch Catalog, item #5866). The several copies appearing at auction in the past 75 years map reference to folding maps in the volume, but do not specifically identify this map.
Cipriano Bagay was the son of Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay (1701-1771). He was a native wood block artist, born in Tambobong, now the municipality of Malabon, in 1701. Trained and educated by the Spaniards, Bagay was a renowned native expert in engraving and printing, whose first work of significance was in 1734 when he engraved Pedro Murillo Velarde's Mapa de Filipinas, the first detailed map of the Philippines. His name appeared in 1744 in a reduced sized edition of the Murillo map, printed with a copper plate. Bagay continued in the printing business for a number of years, his name appearing as the printer of many of the most important works published in the Philippines in the mid-18th Century. He was succeeded by his son Cipriano, one of only a few map makers to publish maps in the Philippines prior to 1800. It is estimated that no more than 20 maps were published in the Philippines prior to 1800.
The map is extremely rare. We know of no separate example of the map ever appearing on the market and only 2 examples of the Concepcion's book in the past 100 years at auction, none since the 1970s.