125. MEDINA, Balthasar de. Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico, de Religiosos Descalços de N.S.P.S. Francisco en la Nueva-España. Vidas de Ilustres, y Venerables Varones, que la han edificado con excelentes virtudes.... Mexico: Por Juan de Ribera, Impressor, y Mercader de Libros en el Empedradillo, 1682. Copper-engraved title (architectural design with ten compartments of Saints, by Mexican artist and engraver Antonio Ysarti),  pp., 259 folios,  pp., large woodcut dedicatee’s arms on leaf a2 recto, decorative and calligraphic woodcut vignettes. Lacking the engraved map of the Province of San Diego in Mexico (see next entry). Folio, full nineteenth-century Mexican sheep, gilt-lettered spine label, edges tinted yellow, 4 marcas de fuego (abraded). Binding very worn (missing 6 cm at head of spine) and stained along lower portion of covers, engraved title faded, stained, and with marginal reinforcements, numerous old reinforcements to leaves (mostly in margins), text faded and stained, waterstaining throughout (with some mildew damage), a few wormholes to some text leaves (costing some letters). Evidence of bookplate removal on upper pastedown. Two old ink ownership inscriptions, one on front fly leaf dated 1849, and another on a preliminary leaf (the latter indicating the book was in the Convent of San Francisco in Oaxaca, now defunct). A lamentable copy of a rare and important work. Difficult to find complete and with the map.
First edition. JCB II, p. 102. Heredia 6818: “Livre de toute rareté et presque introuvable.” Medina, Mexico 1250. Palau 159373: “Obra estimada y de valor comercial.” Sabin 2987 & 47336: “A volume of extreme rarity.” Streeter Sale 137. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 55: “In the prologue Medina cites two documents in the archives of the order not now known—a relation of New Mexico, 1628, by Fr. Augustín de Cuellar, and another of 1629 by Roque Figeredo. Cueller and Figueredo were missionaries to the Zuñis in 1629. An account of the mission of Fr. Antonio de Arteaga to New Mexico in the seventeenth century and his conversion of the Piros and Mansos will be found on folios 168-170, and an account of the uprising in New Mexico in 1680 on folios 199-200.” The author (1635-1697) was a priest in the Discalced Carmelite order serving most of his career in Mexico, although at one point he spent time in the Philippines. His account constitutes a valuable history of some of the more obscure events in early New Mexican religious and social history, including missions to Native Americans.
The engraved title with illustrations of the martyrdoms of various saints (whose biographies are given in the work) is noteworthy for Mexican engraving. One of the saints depicted is San Felipe de Jesús, a patron saint of Mexico, (b. in Mexico 1575, martyred in Manila in 1597). ($750-1,500)
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