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Description

Exceedingly rare map of the Philippines, Southeast Asia, etc., engraved by Cipriano Bagay in Manila, one of the few maps published in the Philippines in the 18th Century.

Finely engraved map by the native Filipino engraver, Cipriano Bagay, and with its delighfully crude style, is a magnificent example of colonial cartographic printing. The cartography and toponomy on Bagay's map is archaic, yet intriguing.

The map extends from Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca in the southwest to the Philippines, Formosa and the China Coast.

The map is from Juan de la ConcepciĆ³n's Historia General de Philipinas (Manila, 1788-1792), an incredibly rare 14 volume work that was a monument of Filipino scholarship and one of the grandest works of colonial publishing produced in the 18th Century. The map appeared in Volume 2, opposite page 232, and was published in 1788.

Although his work was consequential, not much is known of Cipriano Bagay, although he was the son of Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay (1701-1771), the great native Filipino pioneer of printed cartography. Nicolas was born in Tambobong, now the municipality of Malabon. Trained and educated by the Spaniards, he was a renowned native expert in engraving and printing, whose first work of significance was the engraving for Pedro Murillo Velarde's Mapa de Filipinas (Manila, 1734), the first detailed map of the Philippines, and arguably the most impressive work of cartography ever printed in the Spanish colonies. His name also appeared on a reduced 1744 edition of the Murillo map, printed with a copper plate. Nicolas 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 at auction or in a dealer catalog and this is the first example of the map we have ever seen on the market.