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Description

Exceedingly rare map of Taiwan and the neighboring coastline of China, engraved by Cipriano Bagay in Manila, one of the few maps published in the Philippines in the 18th Century.

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

The map is from Juan de la Concepción'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. The Historia General, was engraved by Cipriano Bagay and Felipe de Sevilla, with the present map of Japan being from Bagay's burin, as "C. Bagay Scul[pcit]" appears in the lower right of the map.

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 on the market.