The Portuguese dominions in Asia with views of Hormuz and Muscat

Faria y Sousa, Manuel de. Asia Portuguesa.

Lisbon, Henrique Valente de Oliviera (vol. I), Antonio Craesbeeck (vols. II-III), 1666, 1674-1675.

Small folio (205 x 295 mm). 3 vols. (32), 396, (42), pp. (8), 968, (2) pp. (8), 564, (6) pp. With 3 engraved title-pages, engraved and woodcut initials, woodcut tailpieces, each with an engraved portrait at the end of the front matter. 19 folded plates with views and plans, as called for: vol. I with 9 hors-text woodcut portraits, one quite large and one full-page, and 11 engraved folding maps. Vol. II with 19 full page woodcut portraits, most with identifying captions, and 6 woodcut folding maps. Vol. III with 22 full-page woodcut portraits with identifying captions and 2 woodcut folding maps. 19th century full mottled calf, titled and ruled in gilt on spine, marbled endpapers.


Very rare first edition, with an impressive collection of plates.

A trove of information regarding the Portuguese involvement with China (most notably the Chinese missions), the wars between the Dutch and the Portuguese in Macau, the trade relations with India and the Portuguese outposts there (Daman & Diu). Most notably, it deals extensively with the history of the Arabian Gulf, narrating the capture of Ormuz in 1507 by the Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque which gave the Portuguese full control of the trade between India and Europe passing through the Gulf. It also speaks of the discovery of Baharem and Catif and the wars with King of Al-Hasa. Also the aspect of trade is described: there are several mentions of "the Fishery of Pearl, so famed that draws all Mankind thither". Faria y Sousa also gives accounts of later events such as the building of "forts of great strengths" in Muscat, after the fall of Ormuz in 1622 which opened up the Persian trade with England in the Gulf.

Copy a little trimmed, with occasional minor stains and paper repairs, but overall clean. One of the very few sets on the market with a full set of plates.


Cordier (Sinica) 2309. Palau 86.692. Streit V, 476. Alden/L. 666/47. Sabin 28001. Laures 490. Takahashi 115. Lach/Van Kley, p. 355. Inocencio V, 416. Auvermann, 493. Arouca, S 530, 531 and 532.