Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2006 Issue

Mexican and Latin Works from Plaza Books

List 18 of Latin American works from Plaza Books.


By Michael Stillman

Arriving in our mailbox a short time ago was List 18 from Plaza Books of Santa Rosa, California. Plaza specializes in books from south of the border. While anything from Tijuana to the Straits of Magellan is fair game, and so even are items from within the USA with a Latin connection, most of the books in this catalogue pertain to Mexico. The linguistic mix is fairly even here, between English and Spanish language works, with a few in French. The time period covered ranges all the way from the days before the Spanish conquest to the Mexican Revolution. It offers a most worthy selection for collectors of Mexicana and Central America. Here are a few samples.

Item 4 is a contemporary work concerning the Mexican Revolution, though it would only have covered the initial stages. Author Henry Baerlein was a correspondent for the London Times who published his book in 1912: Mexico, the Land of Unrest: Being chiefly an Account of what produced the Outbreak in 1910, together with the Story of the Revolutions down to this Day. In 1910, Mexicans overthrew the longstanding dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, and installed Francisco Madero as President. He would still have been in office at this time, but by 1913, Madero too was overthrown, executed, and a series of other leaders would come and go until the PRI would gain control. That control was not relinquished until the most recent Mexican presidential election. Priced at $115.

Item 31 relates to an earlier change of government in Mexico, though this was more invasion than revolution. During the 1860s, France invaded Mexico and established Emperor Maximilian on the thrown. It didn't work out. However, in 1863, a year before Maximilian's installation, John de Havilland could not foresee what would transpire. De Havilland was an ultra-conservative royalist who believed that an emperor was just what Mexico needed. At the time, he could point to America, engaged in its civil war, as proof of the failure of democracy. De Havilland recalled that Americans had appreciated France's involvement in their revolution against the British, and concluded the Mexicans would feel the same. What he failed to notice is that the Americans were fighting a foreign power, not each other. A year later, de Havilland got his wish, but within three years, Mexicans united to throw the French out of the country, and Maximilian lay dead in front of a firing squad. The book, in French, is Le Mexique sous la Maison de Habsbourg. $500.

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    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
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    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
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    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
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    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
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    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
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    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
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    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
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    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
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