AUCTION 23

 
 

“They did more with their pen and pencil than did many generals with their armies”—Toussaint

 
Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

135. [ESCALANTE, Constantino, Hesiquio Iriarte, Vicente Riva Palacio, et al. (editors)]. La Orquesta. Periódico omniscio, de buen humor y con caricaturas, redactado en gefe por el ciudadano Roberto Macario, elector elegible. Mexico, 1861-1875. A long run of this periodical and two of its associated sister publications, as described below:

1.   La Orquesta. Tomo 1o. 1861. C. Escalante div. y litogo. Litog de Iriarte y Ca. [Mexico City; Imprenta de la Paz, callejon de la Cazuela]. Vol. 1, first series (March 1, 1861-August 31, 1861). [2], [1] 2-212 pp., 60 plates, including lithograph title page. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt lettered and decorated, edges sprinkled. Head cap snagged, moderate rubbing and shelf wear, hinges cracked but holding. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuga, Mexico City, on front flyleaf. With undated prospectus with text on recto and a lithograph on verso stating that the editor in chief will be the fictional Roberto Macario and announcing the first number will appear on March 1. Subscription agents listed are H. Iriarte, J. M. Aguilar, Cristóbal de la Torre, Eugenio Maillefert, and Isidoro Devaux, who will sell subscriptions for four reales.

2.   No title page. Vol. 2, first series (September 4, 1861-April 26, 1862). [Mexico City: Tipografia de M. Castro, Escalerillas núm 10]. [1] 2-128, [2], [129] 130-268 pp., 68 plates. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt lettered and decorated, edges sprinkled. Light rubbing and shelf wear, front flyleaf torn with loss, hinges cracked but holding. Pp. 11/12 torn with loss, plate 1 has scribbles, plate 26 repaired, plate 67 torn with great loss. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuga, Mexico City, on front flyleaf.

3.   No title page. Vol. 3, first series (April 30, 1862-January 14, 1863). [Mexico City: Tipografia de M. Castro Zamora, Escalerillas núm. 10]. [1] 2-300 pp., 75 plates. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt lettered and decorated, edges sprinkled. Spine chipped at head, overall rubbing and moderate shelf wear, hinges cracked but holding, lower flyleaf torn. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuga, Mexico City, on front flyleaf.

4.   No title page. Vol. 4, first series (January 17, 1863-May 27, 1863). [Mexico City: Tipografia de M. Castro Zamora, Escalerillas núm. 10 and Imprenta de la “Orquesta” Santa Clara núm. 23]. [1] 2-152 pp., 38 plates, 1 folded. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt lettered and decorated, edges sprinkled. Spine rubbed, overall light shelf wear and rubbing, upper board dented. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuga, Mexico City, on front flyleaf.

5.   La Orquesta. Tomo 1o 2a Epoca. 1865. Escalante. Vol. 1, second series (December 3, 1864-December 30, 1865). [Mexico City: Imprenta de L. Inclan, Cerca de Santo Domingo núm 12 and Imprenta Literaria, Segunda de Santo Domingo núm 10]. [2], [1] 2-4 pp in each issue, 113 plates, including half-title. 113 issues but wants issue 3 and its plate; one-page supplement to issue 15 included. Half-title and first few leaves frayed and separated. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt decorated and lettered, edges sprinkled. Spine ends chipped, moderate rubbing and shelf wear, upper hinge cracked but holding. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuca, Mexico City, on front pastedown.

6.   No title page. Vol., 2, second series (January 3, 1866-July 16, 1866). [Mexico City: Imprenta Literaria, Calle 2a de Santo Domingo, núm 10]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 50 plates. 50 issues. One plate torn with loss. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt decorated and lettered, edges sprinkled. Light rubbing and shelf wear. Outer margin of first few leaves stained. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuca, Mexico City, on front flyleaf. Plate 41 is particularly hilarious, depicting Mexican politicians as various types of cigars and other smoking materials.

Bound with: El Impolitico. (June 6, 1866-June 23, 1866). [Mexico City: Imprenta Literaria, Calle 2a de Santo Domingo, núm 10]. [2], [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 4 plates. 5 issues. Outer margin of first few leaves stained.

7.   No title page. Vol. 1, third series (July 1, 1867-June 27, 1868). [Mexico City: Imprenta Literaria, Calle 2a. de Santo Domingo núm 10]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 106 plates, 1 folded. 106 issues. Issue 26, pp. 3/4 torn with loss. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt decorated and lettered, edges sprinkled. Spine separated from text block and lightly chipped at extremities, upper hinge and joint cracked, moderate rubbing and shelf wear, one corner perished. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuca, Mexico City, on front pastedown. The first issue is misnumbered Vol. III.

8.   No title page. Vol. 2, third series (July 1, 1868-December 29, 1869). [Mexico City: Imprenta Literaria, 2a Calle de Santa Dominga núm 10; Imprenta de la Constitucion Social, Puente del Correo Mayor, núm. 10; and T. F. Neve, Callejon de Santa Clara, número 9]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 151 plates, 2 folded. 149 issues. Some mild water staining and fraying at beginning and end, last plate scribbled on. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt decorated and lettered, edges sprinkled. Spine rubbed, chipped at head, moderate to heavy rubbing and shelf wear, hinges cracked. With printed binders ticket of Juan V. Machuca, Mexico City, on front pastedown.

9.   No title page. Vol. 3, third series (January 5, 1870-December 31, 1870). [Mexico City: T. F. Neve, Callejon de Santa Clara, número 9 and Imprenta de F. Diaz de Leon y S. White, Segunda Monterilla, núm. 12]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 106 plates. 105 issues. Issue 5, pp. 3/4 torn with loss, plate 97 torn with almost total loss. Folio (31.5 x 23 cm), contemporary quarter green Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spines gilt decorated and lettered, edges sprinkled. Rubbing and heavy shelf wear with loss of three corners. Front flyleaf mostly wanting.

10.  No title page. Vol. 4, third series (January 4, 1871-December 30, 1871). [Mexico City: Imprenta de Leon y S. White, Segunda Monterilla, núm 12]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 104 plates. 104 issues. Folio (31.7 x 23 cm), contemporary roan gilt lettered spine over green pebble cloth. Upper hinge split and spine separated from text block, ink call number at bottom of spine, upper spine worn, moderate shelf wear and fading, first leaf loose. With ink stamp of Camara de Diputados library in several places. Overall age toning.

11.  La Orquesta. To 5o. 3a Epoca. 1872. Vol. 5, third series (January 3, 1872-December 26, 1872). [Mexico City: Imprenta de F. Diaz de Leon y S. White, Calle de Lerdo núm 2]. [2], [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 96 (of 103) plates. 98 issues and a 4-page supplement to No. 103. Wants issues 41 and 90, No. 49, pp. 3/4 torn with loss, plate 66 with scribbles. Folio (31.5 x 22.5 cm), contemporary brown Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spine gilt lettered and gilt decorated. Moderate rubbing and shelf wear, upper hinge cracked but holding, one corner badly rubbed.

Three volumes in one (Nos. 12, 13 & 14). Folio (33 x 23.5 cm), contemporary tan Mexican sheep over mottled boards, spine gilt lettered and decorated. Light rubbing and shelf wear, front hinge cracked but holding.

12.  No title page. Vol. 6, third series (January 1, 1873-December 31, 1873). [Mexico City: Imprenta de F. Diaz de Leon y S. White. Calle de Lerdo núm 2]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 104 plates. 104 (of 105) issues. Light stains on first few leaves.

13.  La Orquesta. To 7o. 3a Epoca. 1874. Vol. 7, third series (January 3, 1874-December 30, 1874). [Mexico City: Imprenta de Diaz de Leon y White, Calle de Lerdo núm 2 and Imprenta de F. Diaz de Leon y S. White. Calle de Lerdo núm 2]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 103 (of 104) plates, 103 (of 104) issues.

14.  No title page. Vol. 8, third series (January 2,1875-July 3, 1875). [Mexico City: Diaz de Leon y White, Imp. Calle de Lerdo número 2]. [1] 2-4 pp. in each issue, 41 (of 53) plates. 52 issues. Wants issue 53.

15.  Plate volume. Folio (31 x 21 cm), contemporary three-quarter cloth over mottled boards. Spine heavily worn, snagged, and separating from text block; boards worn with loss. Six volumes in one. This volume contains only lithographs from the various issues listed above. Many of the characters shown in the images are identified in contemporary pencil, however, making this volume a valuable adjunct resource since so many of the incidents and characters shown are mysteries in the present day.

15a. La Orquesta. Tomo 1o. 1861. C. Escalante div. y litogo. Litog de Iriarte y Ca. [Vol. 1, first series. Lithograph title page and 41 plates, wanting plates 3-20, but including the subscribers plate. Title page wrinkled, 1 plate remargined, another torn with loss, a few chipped not affecting image.

15b. No title page. Vol. 2, first series. 56 plates, including the subscribers plate but wanting plate 2. Plate 1 torn with loss.

15c. No title page. Vol. 3, first series. 71 plates, but wanting plate 58. One of the characters identified is Santa-Anna.

15d. La Orquesta. Tomo 1o 2a Epoca. 1865. Escalante Vol 1, second series. Plates 1-53, 76, and 94-113.

15e. No title page. Vol. 2, second series. Plates 1-49. One of the characters identified is Santa-Anna.

15f. Dona Clara. Plates 1-37. Many plates trimmed with losses and frayed. Several of the plates depict the perceived threats from the U.S. along the Rio Grande.

15e. El Impolitico. Title page and 1 plate from this periodical, with two lithographs from a newspaper bound in, as well. The newspaper leaves are chipped with loss and the El Impolitico plate has its lower edge remargined. (See entry 6 above.)

     First editions of the first Mexican periodical to employ graphic political satire in a significant way, and a premier illustrated political periodical for any time or place. Charno, Latin American Newspapers, p. 392. Mathes, Mexico on Stone, p. 30: “In 1861, La Orquesta, a periodical of political satire, established lithographic caricature as a field of its own through the excellent work of Constantino Escalante, virtual pillar of the publication until his untimely death in a railroad accident at Tlalpan in 1868”; 54 (illustrating a plate); 59 (title); 63 (Escalante); 64 (Iriarte). Palau 204579. Porrua 8980. Sabin 57650: “The Mexican Punch.” See also Grabados Mexicanos: An Historical Exhibition of Mexican Graphics 1839-1974 (Mount Holyoke College, 1974).

     Toussaint, La Litografía en México, p. xxvi: “En 1861 se comenzó a publicar en México La Orquesta. Duró hasta 1874. Nunca se había lanzado al combate un campeón tan vigoroso. La satira cáustica del texto halla, en las litografías, una arma terrible. Dos colosos del humorismo se habían encontrado: Vicente Riva Palacio y Constantino Escalante. Ellos hicieron más, con su pluma y su lápiz, que muchos generales con sus ejércitos. La Orquesta es la historia de un período de nuestra vida política, pero al desnudo, casi desollada.” [Translation]: “La Orquesta began publication in Mexico City in 1861. It lasted until 1874. There has never been so vigorous a champion to leap into combat. The caustic satire of the text finds a terrible weapon in lithographs. Two giants of humor had met: Vicente Riva Palacio and Constantino Escalante. They did more with their pen and pencil than did many generals with their armies. La Orquesta is the history of a period of our political life, but when stripped, it is shameless.”

     La Orquesta was an important organ of political and social commentary and depiction at the time of the end of Reforms and the period of French intervention, spilling over into the governments of Juárez and Lerdo de Tejada. The publication’s political stance was such that it was persecuted by both presidents. The most important aspect of the periodical was its lithographs, which revealed successive, trenchant observations of Mexican life. Escalante, called the Daumier of Mexico, and his cousin, Carlos R. Casarín, founded La Orquesta, which contains early work from the biting pen of Vicente Riva Palacio. Successive editors and writers of the series represented here included Manuel C. Villegas, H. Iriarte, Escalante, Hilarión Frias y Soto, Juan de Jarras, and José R. Perez.

     Mexican graphic art authority Joyce Waddell Bailey commented on La Orquesta (as quoted by Ron Tyler in Posada’s Mexico, p. 96): “Outside of [a few] circumstantial affinities to the tradition of French magazines of caricature, we find little influence of a specific nature in the prints. Rather, the Mexican lithographs show highly original themes, and styles vary from artist to artist and journal to journal. To a certain extent we can see here traces of how highly creative artists work. A new idea or image may act as a stimulus, but it is combined in the artist’s own work with such agility and acuity that it becomes impossible to accurately delineate specific sources of influence.”

     These lithographs represent some of the most riveting early specimens of Mexico’s nationalistic printmaking art, a tradition that began with illustrations in a handful of liberal periodicals such as this one, and later blossomed to influence and encompass such prolific talents as José Guadalupe Posada and José Clemente Orozco. These illustrations proved seminal to modern Latin American art.

     The conjunction of the talents of Constantino Escalante and lithographer Hesiquio Iriarte, both giants of nineteenth-century Mexican lithography, was highly fortuitous. Escalante (1836-1868) became involved with liberal politics at the close of the Guerra de los Tres Años in 1861. He was La Orquesta’s first caricaturist and worked for the magazine until his death, producing over five hundred searing images that provide a detailed vision of Mexico’s history through his critical eyes. His preferred themes were foreign invasions and the relationship between the Church and the state. He used his caricatures to draw attention to the many problems that oppressed Mexico. He also produced independent albums of lithographs, such as Glorias nacionales, sponsored by Vicente Riva Palacio (1832–96), the director of La Orquesta. He died in a railway accident at the age of thirty-two. The last image he produced appears here in Vol. 2, third series, No. 30, and the next issue is devoted almost entirely to him in a eulogy by Hilarión Frías y Soto that ends: “México, jamas olvidará á su primero quizá á su único caricaturista.” The following issue contains a handsome lithograph of Escalante drawn and printed by Iriarte.

     His successors continued the excellent tradition that he began. Hernández (1833-1908), who fought at Chapultepec, not only worked on La Orquesta but also drew for many other Mexican satirical periodicals of the era. His drawings were at times so inflammatory that he was persecuted by the Mexican government for his views. One of his innovations was the use of large double page lithographs, examples of which may be seen in Vol. 1, third series, No. 14 and Vol. 2, third series No. 85, the latter of which is a depiction of a game board. In addition to his lithographs here, he is also admired for his work in El Libro Rojo (see Riva Palacio herein), portraying infamous drownings, executions, suicides and other mournful and strange events during Mexico’s civil and foreign wars. He was succeeded by José María Villasana (1848-1904), who helped found El Ahuizote, another satirical periodical, before he began working for La Orquesta. Ironically, Villasana became, in a sense, the butt of his own joke when he ran for office and was elected. Although Villasana generally continued in the tradition of black lines on white backgrounds, one of his innovations was striking illustrations done with white lines on black backgrounds, something that had never been done in this periodical prior to his efforts (e.g. Vol. VI, third series, No. 29).

     Hesiquio Iriarte (ca. 1820-1897) was arguably the finest lithographer in nineteenth-century Mexico and probably executed all of the lithographs published in La Orquesta. His earliest major production was that of the numerous plates in the extraordinary four-volume El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (México: Ignacio Cumplido, 1842) (see herein) and lithographs in El Gallo Pitagórico (México: Ignacio Cumplido, 1845). He also produced excellent plates for Apuntes Históricos de la Heroica Ciudad de Vera-Cruz (México: Ignacio Cumplido, 1850) with an extraordinary portrait of Fernando Cortés; Los Mexicanos Pintados por sí mismos (México: M. Murguía, 1854-1855) (see herein); Los Conventos Suprimidos de México (México: J. M. Aguilar y Compañía, 1861); and De Miramar a México (Orizaba: J. Bernardo Aburto, 1864) with an outstanding portrait of Maximillian. Spanning a half-century, the role of Iriarte in Mexican lithography cannot be overstated.

     An unusual opportunity to acquire a long run of this important Mexican periodical, including a unique volume of plates.

($8,000-16,000)

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: rarebooks@sloanrarebooks.com