Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2007 Issue

Mexican and Southwest Items from Plaza Books

Plaza22

List 22 from Plaza Books.


By Michael Stillman

Plaza Books
of Santa Rosa, California, has issued List 22, a collection of Latin American works, primarily Mexican. For those who collect Mexicana, and particularly items related to her many revolutions, this catalogue offers some unusual and important items. However, there are also many items which pertain to the United States, particularly the American Southwest which was once part of Mexico. Here, naturally, you will find pieces within the very popular collecting field of Texiana. Texas was far longer a part of New Spain than of the United States, so antiquarian works on Mexico are a natural starting point for a Texas collection. Along with books, there are several broadsides in this catalogue, most of which have survived in very few copies. Here are some examples.

Item 4 is a broadside proclamation by Commandant General Gaspar Antonio Lopez dated July 20, 1822. Independence had only been declared the previous year, with Iturbide coming to power just two months prior. It announces the procedures, and the very lax standard of proof needed to imprison any Spaniards remaining in Mexico suspected of breaking the law. Priced at $1,200.

Item 9 is a proclamation from Miguel Barragan, dated January 13, 1836, establishing commands and headquarters in the north, notably Texas. Barragan was interim President of Mexico at the time while Santa Anna relinquished the title so he could pursue rebellious Texans. All went well for Santa Anna two months later at the Alamo, but he suffered a humiliating defeat a short time after at San Jacinto. $1,750.

Item 40 is a most interesting and generous decree, published by Mexican authorities in the afterglow of their victory at the Alamo, but before the San Jacinto defeat. It provides for permanent banishment from the land for certain rebellious Texans, instead of the proscribed death penalty. If they surrendered within 15 days, they would be shipped out, at a time and place of Santa Anna's choosing. However, the pardoning of the death penalty did not apply to officials of the Texas government or other leaders of the rebellion. Of course, events would quickly overtake this proclamation with the defeat of Santa Anna a week after the date of this proclamation, April 14, 1836. $2,400.

Santa Anna's terrible defeat at San Jacinto led to disruption of the Mexican army, as many soldiers took to deserting. On April 14, 1838, item 41 was issued. This is a decree providing an amnesty for all deserters up to the rank of sergeant who returned to their posts. Those who did not would be forced to re-enlist for a term of eight years, to be served on the northern border with Texas. $1,250.

Here is one more proclamation. Item 21, dated January 18, 1845, reaffirms Mexican claims to lands in the Southwest on the eve of the Mexican War. These lands included California, New Mexico, and, naturally, Texas. $400.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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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