Nova Typis Transacta Navigatio
Caspar Plautius. Linz, 1621.
Nova Typis is one of the most idiosyncratic books published on the discovery of America. The presumed author, Caspar Plautius, was the abbot of the Benedictine monastery Seitenstetten in Austria, and was also the person to whom the book was dedicated by the fictitious author, Honorio Philopono. Most of the book describes the exploits of the Benedictine priest Bernard Buil of Montserrat, who accompanied Columbus on his second voyage and led a team of papal-appointed missionaries to the peoples of the Americas. Not content with recounting Buil's adventures, Plautius begins the book with a lengthy and fantastic account of the voyage of the Atlantic voyages of St. Brendan, the 5th century Irish monk. The text is accompanied by a set of extraordinary prints depicting the voyages of both Buil and St. Brendan, and Buil's interactions with the native peoples.
The volume is in an eighteenth-century leather binding with gold tooling on the spine and covers. The front cover of the book is detached, and the spine is peeling. Restoration work will re-attach the front board and repair the leather.