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    Sale 12259

    Ex Libris Jean R. Perrette: Important Travel, Exploration & Cartography

    5 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 300

    VALADÉS, Diego (b. 1533). Rhetorica christiana ad concionandi, et orandi usum accommodata. Perugia: P. Petrutium, 1579.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    VALADÉS, Diego (b. 1533). Rhetorica christiana ad concionandi, et orandi usum accommodata. Perugia: P. Petrutium, 1579.

    4° (239 x 176 mm). Engraved title, 12 engraved plates on 9 leaves, one folding, 14 engraved illustrations, 5 full-page, folding letterpress table with woodcut vignette device at lower right corner, with final blank. (Title lightly soiled, some intermittent pale spotting.) Contemporary limp vellum. Provenance: Jesuit College, Brussels (inscription on title).

    FIRST EDITION. “The most elaborate theoretical attempt to exploit the indigenous mnemonic systems was Diego de Valadés's Rhetorica christiana, an exhaustive manual on Indian, or more precisely Mexican, culture and on the ways it could be exploited by the missionary in his constant struggle to establish communication with his charges. Most Indian groups, argued Valadés, although ‘rude and uncultured (crassi et inculti)’ had nevertheless contrived a means of conveying messages through ‘arcane modes’, using what he calls ‘figures of the sense of the mind’. These functioned, or so he thought, as the Egyptian hieroglyphs (which until the late eighteenth century were believed to be purely symbolic)” (Anthony Pagden, The fall of natural man, p. 189). The engraved plates are by Valadés himself and incorporate Mexican backgrounds and scenes with which he was familiar. A number of the chapters relate to America and to Native Americans. The large folding plate shows Indian rituals of sacrifice in Mexico and incidental details of Indian life. Harvard/Mortimer Italian 510; Medina BHA 259; Sabin 98300; Palau 346897.


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