Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2013 Issue

Mexico is the Subject of the Latest Catalogue from Plaza Books

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Mexico.

Plaza Books has issued their List 35 Mexico. Mexico comes with a longer history than its larger neighbor to the north, replete with its own set of issues and controversies. Its colonial period began earlier and ended later. After independence, its leadership was not always chosen at the ballot box. It bounced back and forth between elected governments and dictatorships, and even for a brief period was controlled by a French installed emperor. It was not an easy journey, but there is no shortage of history. Some of that will be found in the books and other material found in this catalogue.

 

Item 8 offers a look at the ancient cities of Mexico and Central America: Les anciennes villes du Nouveau Monde. Voyages d'explorations au Mexique et dans l'Amerique centrale. Desire Charnay's account was published in Paris in 1885 (a U.S. English language edition followed in 1887). Charnay was fascinated by the travels of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, who visited ancient Central American ruins around 1840. He made several journeys to Mexico and Central American from the 1850s to the 1880s. This book is a thorough and beautifully bound presentation of his findings. Priced at $2,100.

 

Item 23 is the first and “best” biography of Juan de Palafox y Mendoza: Vida i Virtudes del illmo. i excmo. Senor D. Juan de Palafox i Mendoza... It was written by Antonio Rosende at the behest of Palafox's friend the Cardinal of Toledo and published in 1666 (seven years after Palafox died). Palafox was sent to Mexico to serve as Bishop of Puebla, a post he held for 15 years, along with briefly holding the post of interim Archbishop. Palafox was a reformer. He took on the financial mismanagement of the local Church and the privileges afforded its officials. He believed in humane treatment of the natives, with conversion by persuasion rather than force. He also built an important library, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana. Palafox had the official support of the Pope through his battles with the local clergy, but when he took on the Jesuits, who wielded enormous power, that proved to be too much. Despite his support, the Pope still called him back to Spain, where he was given a position generally considered a demotion. Procedures to beatify Palafox were begun in the 17th century but put on hold late in the 18th century by an unsupportive Pope. They languished for two centuries until he was finally beatified in 2011. $6,000.

 

Palafox also had to deal with some more mundane matters in his role as Bishop of Puebla. Item 22 is his Ordenanzas del choro de esta Santa Iglesia Cathedral de la Puebla de Los Angeles. This is Palafox's rules for the church choir, which, as Plaza points out, “seems to have at times sunk to the behavior level of eight-year-olds.” One would not expect such admonitions would be necessary for a church choir. Among his rules were no talking or passing notes during mass, no being late or leaving early, no cutting up, making jokes, disrespecting the choirmaster, or feigning illness. Evidently later choirs had to be reminded of these rules as this is a second edition from 1711, the first having been published in 1648. They would have to be reminded once again in 1736. Item 22. $1,450.

 

This next author had the unusual distinction of serving in public office in Mexico and the Republic of Texas. Lorenzo de Zavala was a Mexican newspaper publisher whose liberal views got him thrown in prison by Spanish authorities during the waning days of colonial rule. He spent his days behind bars studying medicine, and would have come out a doctor were he not drawn back to politics (you could self-train to be a physician anywhere in those days). Once independence was achieved, he was named to head up the Constitutional Congress and later served as Governor of the State of Mexico. Zavala was appointed Minister to Paris by Santa Anna in 1833, but resigned when learning the latter had assumed dictatorial power. In 1835, he traveled to New York, and then returned to Texas, where he stayed with Stephen F. Austin. He hoped for a resolution of issues between Texas and Mexico, but after Santa Anna invaded, he became a supporter of Texas independence. Zavala would then help draft his second constitution after Santa Anna's defeat. His support was recognized when he was appointed Interim Vice President of the Republic of Texas pending its first election. Unfortunately, his health soon deteriorated and he died in an accident in 1836. Along the way, Zavala spent some time in the United States, and he wrote a book about the young land, similar but prior to the more famous account by de Tocqueville. Zavala's account was also published in Paris, and item 27 is an 1834 first edition of Viage a los Estados Unidos del Norte de America. Zavala also had a positive and sympathetic view toward Americans, even while recognizing some shortcomings. $2,250.

 

Item 16 is a large (24” x 29”) 1885 map of the State of Sonora prepared by Civil Engineer Charles E. Herbert: Mapa Oficial del Estado Sonora Republica de Mexico... The map was evidently intended for land purchasers and investors in the state, particularly its mines. Towns, roads, railroads, rivers and ranches are depicted in detail. It also shows adjacent eastern Baja California and southern Arizona, roughly from Tucson south. Hand coloring has been added to two inset maps of ports and an elaborate border. $2,000.

 

Plaza Books may be reached at 707-217-9229 or plazabks@sonic.net. Their website is www.plazabooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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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