Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 375

"[Lot of 4] [Alvarado Dies at Guadalajara] [and] [How the Aztec Priests Do Penance] [and] [How the Mexicans Were Provoked into Fighting with Their Neighbours] [and] [Montezuma's Brother Prefers Death to Disloyalty]", Bry, Theodore de

Subject: Mexico, Natives

Period: 1655 (circa)

Publication: Historia Antipodum oder Newe Welt

Color: Black & White

Size:
7.4 x 6 inches
18.8 x 15.2 cm

This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.

Sizes vary slightly. On sheets of German text measuring 8.0 x 13.1".

A. [Alvarado Dies at Guadalajara]. This striking engraving depicts the death of the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in July 1541, during the Mixton War. Alvarado was attempting to quell a rebellion of the Caxcan people against their Spanish colonizers when he was crushed by his own horse. The engraving shows the natives rolling boulders and tree trunks down a hill at the Spanish soldiers. Condition: A crisp impression with a couple wormholes in the margins. (A)

B. [How the Aztec Priests Do Penance]. This engraving depicts Aztec priests gathering before their god, Vitzliputzli, to do penance for the sins of the common people by flagellating themselves. Condition: There is a short wormtrack in the engraved image at bottom left and some small wormholes and binding holes in the blank margins. (B+)

C. [How the Mexicans Were Provoked into Fighting with Their Neighbours]. This engraving shows how the natives of Coyoacan humiliated the ascendant Indians of Mexico City. The Cuyoacanos invited Mexican dignitaries to a special ceremony, but after much song, dance, and celebration, they turned on their guests and emasculated them by forcing them to don women's clothing. This scheme provoked the Mexicans to attack and occupy Cuyoacan. There is an unidentified engraving on verso that appears to depict this retaliation. Condition: There is a short wormtrack in the engraved image at lower left. In the margins there are some small wormholes and minor scattered foxing. (B+)

D. [Montezuma's Brother Prefers Death to Disloyalty]. When Montezuma attacked the altepetl of Chalco, his brother was captured. Once the people of Chalco determined that their captive was the brother of the great Aztec emperor, they decided to make him their king. After initially refusing to accept their offer, he realized that the pressure wouldn't let up. So he ordered the people of Chalco to set up a platform at the top of a large pole where he could accept his new position and begin to dictate to his new subjects. But this was just a ploy; rather than take on the role as the new king of his enemies, the prisoner leapt to his death. This engraving captures the moment that he begins to leap from the platform. Condition: There is light toning and some wormholes in the margins. (B+)

References:

Condition:

See description above.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $180

Closed on 4/28/2021

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