Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2011 Issue

Mexico and the American Southwest from Plaza Books

Palza32

List 32 from Plaza Books.

Plaza Books recently issued their List 32. Plaza specializes in books from or about Mexico, though that specialty spreads to adjoining areas. In this catalogue in particular, the region spreads north. Of course, the American Southwest was in the pre-Mexican War days part of Mexico, though some of these books reach into the era after that territory was seized. And then, of course, there is Texas, which declared itself a republic after Santa Anna acquiesced to its independence under the barrel of a gun, but Mexico changed its mind and continued to claim the land until after the Mexican War. So, while Plaza may be seen primarily as a seller of Mexican books, the ties to the American Southwest run too deep to separate the two. Here, now, are a few of the items being offered.

Item 5 is a look at how the American Southwest was influenced by institutions that developed in Mexico: Spanish Institutions of the Southwest, by Frank W. Blackmar. This 1891 book traces the institutions of Mexico back to their Spanish origins, and discusses the influences in areas ranging from Louisiana to California, at one time all under Spanish dominion. Priced at $150.

For a visual rather than textual look at the Southwest just before the transition from Mexican to American rule, item 10 is an 1842 map from London publisher Chapman and Hall entitled Central America II. Including Texas, California, and the Northern States of Mexico (Central America I had included southern Mexico). As of 1842, Texas had already declared, and effectively secured its independence, but statehood was still three years away. It is shown as a republic, and it is substantially larger than the Texas of today, the Rio Grande continuing to form its western border to its headwaters, making much of today's New Mexico a part of Texas. However, since 1842 was still pre-Mexican War, the remainder of today's American Southwest was still in Mexico. This map shows no New Mexico (nor Arizona), so Texas borders on “Nueva California.” North of California, where today's border with Oregon is located, lies “Columbia.” Populations are given for several cities, such as Albuquerque (6,000), Santa Fe (4,000) and El Paso (5,000), while to the west of El Paso, the city of “Toyson” is shown (today's Tucson, Arizona). $850.

Item 23 is another account that skirts the southwestern border. Rudo Ensayo. This book was written by Fr. Juan Nentuig (or Nentvig), a Jesuit priest originally from central Europe who sailed to New Spain in 1750. On arrival, he was sent to northern Mexico, to Sonora, which encompassed not only the current Mexican state of Sonora but today's Arizona as well. Nentuig's book is the major source of information about this area, its natives, missions, crops, mines and other resources at this time. In his later years, the Padre became nearly blind, but still managed to complete the manuscript for this book, which would not be published until a century later (a limited edition of 160 copies printed in 1863). Father Nentuig would be forced to leave his post at the time of the Jesuit expulsion, but died in Mexico in 1768 before reaching the ship that was to exile him from the land. $2,000.

Item 14 is an account of the culture of one of the Indian tribes of the American Southwest: Zuni Folk Tales. This is a first trade edition (1931) of an account that had appeared 30 years earlier as a Bureau of Ethnology publication. It retains the original forward by Southwest explorer John Wesley Powell, but adds a new introduction by noted southwestern writer Mary Austin. Author Frank Cushing, who lived with the Zuni for five years, was the first American anthropologist to systematically record various aspects of their culture, including legends, daily activities, and social characteristics. $275.

Item 35 is a manuscript pastoral by an obscure 19th century Mexican writer, Manuel Antonio Zayas: El Triunfo de Jesus contra la Lengua del Diablo, written in 1853. The pastoral is a play written to teach or proselytize, often including shepherds (“pastores”) in the story, hence the name. In this story, containing 95 leaves, Jesus battles, and defeats, the Devil. It includes seven hand-painted costumed figures, mostly the Devil in disguise. $2,450.

Plaza Books may be reached at 707-546-3544 or plazabks@sonic.net. Their website is www.plazabooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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