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“for all aspects of indian life, this is a major source”

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507.     SOLÓRZANO PEREIRA, [Juan de]. Política Indiana…. Amberes [Antwerp]: Por Henrico y Cornelio Verdussen, Mercaderes de Libros, Con Gracia y Privilegio, 1703. [26], 1-536, [84, index] pp. (text printed in double column), title in red and black with woodcut printer’s device (lion holding escutcheon with Verdussen arms, city view in background, strap work border), copper-engraved frontispiece (elaborate allegorical portrait of author), woodcut initials and tail pieces. Folio (33.5 x 20.5 cm), contemporary full vellum, title on spine in contemporary ink, edges tinted red. Lacking ties, spine partially perished, binding moderately stained and rubbed, joints cracked, interior with light waterstaining at bottom gutter margins, last quarter of text with light to moderate waterstaining at top, otherwise interior very good and crisp. Contemporary ink ownership inscriptions on half title and title page.

     Second edition (first edition, Madrid, 1648). JCB III(1):43. European Americana 1703/149. Griffin 1309: “For all aspects of Indian life, this is a major source” & 2111: “The classical examination of Spanish administration in America by a seventeenth-century jurist.” Medina, Hispano-Americana 2089. Palau 318982. Sabin 86535. Streit I:753. Wilgus, pp. 133-134: “[When] published at Madrid in 1648, [it] immediately became a handbook for government officials in Spain and in the colonies…. It also deals with geography, natural history, the treatment of the Indians, civil and religious government and church organization and activities.”

     Felipe III sent Solórzano (1575-ca. 1656) to Peru to gather documentation on Native American affairs in 1609. He served as oidor of the Audiencia in Lima, governor of Huancavélica, and inspector of the quicksilver mines. After his return to Spain in 1627, he became the royal Treasurer of the Council of the Indies and went on to occupy other high posts. His distinguished reputation as a learned jurist prompted the King to request that he prepare the present work. “Política Indiana still holds and will continue to hold a conspicuous place among the books of the first order for students of the laws and government of the Spanish colonies in South America” (Moses, Spanish Colonial Literature in South America, New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1922, p. 473).


Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $900.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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