Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Latin American Works from Plaza Books

Plaza33

Works from Latin America.

Plaza Books has prepared their List 33. Plaza specializes in Latin American works, with Mexico and Central America predominant. Dates range from the 17th to the 20th century, the languages found are Spanish and English. Works are sized from posters to several volumes. Several, though of Mexican origin at the time, relate to what is now the southwestern states of the U.S.A. Here are a few of the items we found in this latest selection.

Item 20 consists of three letters on the official letterhead of the State of Nuevo Leon (Mexico) to the Mayor of Linares, dated 1830-1832. They pertain to requests for fairly small numbers of rifles, horses, and financial support to deal with raids by Pames and Apache Indians. Despite centuries of attempts by Spanish, and later Mexican authorities to subdue the Indian tribes, some natives continued to resist authority well into the 20th century (some still object). Priced at $850.

Item 16 is A New Survey of the West Indies, by Thomas Gage, the 1699 “enlarg'd” fourth edition. Gage was an Englishman, but he moved to Spain, where he became a Catholic priest. From there he traveled to Mexico in 1625, where he spent the next 16 years. Spain jealously guarded all knowledge about their American colonies, fearful that others might use that information to gain control over their resources. Except for his being a Catholic priest from Spain, it is unlikely he could have moved about the area so freely. After 16 years, Gage returned home, but not Spain, to England. He switched sides, both nationally and religiously, converting to an Anglican priest. He then wrote his tell-all book, which provided the world with information about the New World otherwise hidden by Spanish authorities. In 1656, he returned to the West Indies, Jamaica specifically. The island had recently been seized by the British, and it is likely Gage played a role in their decision to grab the poorly guarded Spanish colony. $2,750.

Item 33 is Tratado de Fortification Pasajara... by Antonio de Santa Anna, translated from French by Jose Ignacio Serrano. This is an 1854 first Mexican edition of a military manual for training Mexican troops. Why Santa Anna, the Mexican general and leader known primarily for losing Texas, would write such a manual in French, and need to have someone else translate it to Spanish, is mystifying. As Plaza points out, “Santa-Anna, as was his way, seems to have taken credit where it was not in the slightest due.” $675.

Item 40 is The War in Nicaragua by the man who instigated it, William Walker. Walker hoped to carve out a nation he could rule in Central America. In 1853, he invaded Mexico, planning to capture the northern part for a new nation. His attack was repulsed, but Walker was not discouraged. In 1856, he led a small group of armed men into Nicaragua, and amazingly enough, succeeded in taking control. His plan was to open the country for slavery, which would earn him the support of the American South. However, Walker unwisely antagonized U.S. shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, hurting his chances for support in the North, and was unable to withstand a coalition of Central American countries. He was forced to flee. He attempted a return in 1857, but was stopped by the U.S. Navy, then made another attempt in 1860. This time, the British caught him while attempting to rally a return from Honduras. They turned him over to Honduran authorities who promptly executed Walker. His account was published in 1860, shortly after he died. $950.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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