Catalog Archive
Auction 123, Lot 362

"[Lot of 5 - Mexican Pictographs]",

Subject: Mexico

Period: 1772-95 (circa)


Color: Black & White

See Description

An unusual group of engravings from various early encyclopedias. The most famous of these was the Encyclopédie published in France under the direction of Denis Diderot with articles written by the most prominent philosophers of the time. These great minds collaborated in the goal of assembling and disseminating the fruits of accumulated knowledge and learning. Containing 72,000 articles written by more than 140 contributors, it was a massive reference work for the arts and sciences that served to propagate Enlightened ideas. The Encyclopédie was so popular that publishers in England and throughout Europe soon emulated the format.

1) Untitled sheet of Aztec or Mayan pictographs, showing a variety of activities and rituals, circa 1772 from the Encyclopédie (10 x 8.5"). Very nice impression with folds as issued, 1/8" binding trim at left.
2) A variant of the above, this one from an English publication, dated 1795. It was engraved by John Lodge and published by W. Strahan & T. Cadell. A lighter impression with a binding trim at left almost to the neatline.
3) Economie Mexiquaine depicts Mexican pictographs of figures engaged in producing or trading goods. From the Encyclopédie, circa 1772. Light offsetting on a sheet with a marginal chip (5.5 x 7.5").
4) Annales de l'Empire, circa 1772 from the Encyclopédie. This shows pictographs that seem to depict human sacrifice, as evidenced by the 5 heads on the lower right. A good impression with faint offsetting on a sheet with folds as issued (5.5 x 7.5").
5) Productions Naturelles et Tribut shows items that were used as tribute, including agricultural goods, jaguar pelts and other items. A good impression with faint offsetting on a sheet with folds as issued (5.5 x 7.5").


Condition: A

See descriptions. All with folds as issued.

Estimate: $200 - $250


Closed on 2/20/2008