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October 26, 2007

Magic in Mexico
Lithographed Theatre Ephemera

211. MURGUÍA, M[anuel] (publisher-lithographer). GÓMEZ, Ventura. Teatro de Nuevo-Mexico, Sorprendente Función de Mágia Artificial á beneficio del maquinista Ventura Gómez, para la noche del jueves 17 de febrero de 1859. [Mexico: {on p. 4 at bottom}] Tip. de M. Murguía , [1859]. 4 pp. folio folder (32 x 21.5 cm), first page with title in about ten different lettering styles surrounded by an elaborate, surreal lithograph with six vignettes (two ladies and three masked jesters with alligator on left and lion on right; standing man holding an ax over a kneeling women; romantic couple with cupid above; huge monster with open mouth out of which children crawl, cavalier on either side fencing with a lad; calavera with scythe standing atop a fountain with water flowing from a sculpted face; boy sleeping in a canopy bed). Fine.

            Unusual ephemeron relating to a performance of magic, music, dance, and drama in a Mexico City theatre production. The program has three parts, among which are several illusions, such as a rainfall of gold and a mysterious star. The text, written by Ventura Gómez (who bills himself as an illusionist), is basically an apologia for the production, discussing the difficulties a producer-writer encounters in trying to present a perfect production. He states that although this production is not perfect, it will probably delight the audience anyway.

            The lithographed program was published by the notable firm of Manuel Murguía (1807-1860), whose works include Los mexicanos pintados por sí mismos and El Periquillo Sarniento (see Mathes, Mexico on Stone, p. 6, and Diccionario Porrúa). ($250-500)

Sold. Hammer: $375.00; Price Realized: $440.63

Auction 21 Abstracts

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