Three New Catalogues of Americana

- by Michael Stillman


Flo Silver's latest catalogue is in the mail

The next catalogue, from Flo Silver Books, takes us south of the border. It’s entitled “Catalogue 67 – Mexico, Central & South America: Art, Archaeology, Early Travel plus New World Archaeological Foundation Papers.”This catalogue deserves its long title as there is much material within, 597 pieces in all. Most items are from the 20th century and very inexpensive, but there are also some earlier books, also reasonably priced. Anyone collecting or researching a country or other topic from South or Central America should have this catalogue.

Among the earlier items is Capt. James Alexander’s Transatlantic Sketches… This is the first American edition, from 1833, of a Scotsman’s travels around the Americas, including British settlements. Item 4. $200. Item 5 is E.A. Allen’s History of Civilization, showing the development of culture of various races of South American Natives through 1888. $85.

You will also find a History of Central America through 1887 from Hubert Bancroft. This is a three-volume set with over 2,000 pages. Be prepared to do some reading. Item 52. $250. Even earlier is John Delafield’s An Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities of America. This 1839 volume is described as the “first book by a North American on the antiquities of Mexico.” It comes with A View of the Causes of the Superiority of Men of the Northern Over Those of the Southern Hemisphere by James Lakey. Anyone care to bet that Lakey came from the Northern Hemisphere? Item 151. $1,250.

An interesting title is Capt. Basil Hall’s Extracts from a Journal Written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru & Mexico in the Years 1820, 1821, 1822. Hall was a British naval officer who wrote about his journeys along the west coast of South America in 1824. Item 262. $185.

Items 43-49 will fill your morbid curiosity. They are all books about Aztec cannibalism. Priced $5-$30. If cannibalism isn’t your taste, there’s always item 387, Los Panecitos: Clay Eating in Oaxaca. Evidently the clay has certain medicinal benefits. Hopefully, by now they have found a way to put it in pill form. $10.