Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2004 Issue

South & Central America<br>From Flo Silver Books

Silver

Illuistration from Flo Silver’s latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Flo Silver Books has issued their Catalogue 69, “Mexico, Central, and South America: Art & Archaeology + Discovery & Conquest of the New World: Cortes, Diaz del Castillo, Gage, Las Casas.” The nice thing about a Flo Silver catalogue is you don’t have to describe its subject. The title says it all.

This catalogue contains 581 items pertaining to Central and South America, with the heaviest concentration in the fields of art and architecture. Many are fairly obscure titles which will be of interest to those who either collect or conduct research within a particular niche. All titles in the catalogue are affordable. You will have to search carefully for the books priced over $100.

One of the greatest Spanish voyagers to the New World was not a sea captain. Bartolome de las Casas was a lay teacher who later became a priest. He traveled to the island of Hispaniola where his settlement of an Indian uprising earned him the reward of an encomienda. In an “encomienda,” a Spanish settler was made “protector” over a group of Indians on a piece of what had been their land. In return, the settler was given possession of the land and the Indians were required to work it on his behalf. The Indians effectively became slaves.

Las Casas viewed the system as a possessor and disliked what he saw. He renounced his own grant and would spend half a century fighting the abuses of this system and other mistreatment of the Indians. Largely through his efforts on return trips to Spain, the encomienda system was abolished. Las Casas would be known as the “Protector of the Indians.” He would spend many years defending their rights in Mexico, Central and South America, before retiring to Spain. There are 16 items pertaining to Las Casas in this catalogue. Among these are Bartoleme de Las Casas. “Father of the Indians” by Marcel Brion, published in 1929 (Item 56, $75); Las Casas’ own Historia de las Indias, a three-volume set printed in Mexico in 1951 (Item 55, $150); and The Life of Las Casas, “The Apostle of the Indies” by Arthur Helps, printed in London in 1868 (Item 65. $125). An interesting take on his career is offered in Bartoleme de Las Casas. Bookman, Scholar & Propagandist. This was taken from the Rosenbach lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. Evidently La Casas was also a bookman. Item 61. $35.

South America had a long history before the first Spanish explorer set foot on the continent. Most of this history has had to be pieced together through archaeological finds. Karen Bruhns’ Ancient South America is a recent title which “examines the ten millennia of pre-history before the Incas.” Item 133. $35.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions