Selections from the Library of Lorenzo H. Zambrano: Online Auction at Christie’s, 2-18 June 2020

- by Announcement, Rare Book Hub staff

Lorenzo H. Zambrano, at Christie's

Lorenzo H. Zambrano (1944-2014) was one of Mexico's leading businessmen, philanthropists, and collectors. As Chief Executive of Cemex from 1985 to 2014, he transformed the Mexican cement company from a domestic player into one of the world’s largest suppliers of building materials. As a collector, Zambrano’s interests encompassed books, art, and automobiles. His collection of paintings, comprising major works by mid-century Mexican masters and outstanding paintings by other Latin American artists, broke records for a single owner sale devoted to Latin American art when it sold at auction in 2014. Zambrano’s book collection has remained relatively unknown, until now. “He loved all of his collections,” recalls Zambrano’s sister, Nina Zambrano Treviño, “but to enter his library was a dream for me and my children.” Sharing his enormous library with family, friends and visiting luminaries—including Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez—was a special treat for Zambrano. His acquisition of the library of Mexican historian Joaquín Cortina Goribar (1906-1991) greatly enriched his collection of works on pre-Columbian history, the history of Spanish America and Mexico, science, and world literature.

Highlights in the 51-lot online auction, Selections from the Library of Lorenzo H. Zambrano: Latin Americana, Science, and Literature, include a fresh first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (estimate $100,000-150,000) and a fine nine-volume folio set of the colored issue of the Antiquities of Mexico (estimate $80,000-120,000) by Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough. Other highlights include a richly illustrated manuscript copy of Father Diego Durán’s Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España (estimate $18,000-25,000), likely produced for Lord Kingsborough in the 1830s; the tinted issue of Frederick Catherwood’s Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan (estimate $18,000-25,000); Juan Focher’s Itinerarium Catholicum proficiscentium ad infideles covertendos (1574) (estimate $10,000-15,000), on the conversion of the native peoples of the New World and one of only four known copies; the famous “Mexican Treasury,” Nardo Recchi’s 1628 redaction of Francisco Hernández’s Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae thesaurus (estimate $10,000-15,000), published by Federico Cesi and the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome; and an exceedingly rare first edition copy of Poesías del Ciudadano José-María Heredía by the exiled Cuban poet (estimate $10,000-15,000), issued in Toluca, Mexico in 1832 under the poet’s supervision.

The Zambrano sale is now available for browsing on Like the Books & Manuscripts Department’s various-owner online sale, The Open Book: Fine Travel, Americana, Literature and History in Print and Manuscript, bidding on the Zambrano collection will begin on June 2 and continue through June 18, 2020.

For more information on the Zambrano sale, contact: J. Fernando Peña, Senior Specialist (; tel. 212-636-2663).