“Valiosa Joya de la Tipografía Mexicana del Siglo XIX”

First Literary Work in Mexico Illustrated with Lithographs

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85. CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de. El Ingenioso Hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Obra adornada de 125 estampas litográficas y publicado por Masse y Decaen, Impresores litógrafos y editores, Callejon de Santa Clara No. 8. Mexico: Impreso por Ignacio Cumplido, calle de los Rebeldes num. 2, 1842. Vol. I: [1] 2-24, [i-v] vi-xvi, [1] 2-434 pp., 68 plates, including frontispiece; Vol. II: [i-iii] iv-vii [1, blank], [1] 2-473 [1, blank] pp., 60 plates, including frontispiece and colored half-title, one folded map with key (Mapa de una porcion del Reino de Espana que comprehende los parages por donde andavo Don Quijote y los sitios de sus aventuras; neat line to neat line: 26.2 x 45 cm). Total: 128 lithograph plates (including three-color chromolithograph Vol. 2 half-title on heavy paper) by Massé, Decaen, Iriarte, and Heredia, plus, ornate head- and tailpieces, occasional text engravings. 8vo (24 x 16.5 cm), contemporary full Mexican tan mottled calf, spines extra gilt, covers with gilt-rolled borders. Rebacked, original spines preserved, original spines worn and with some voids, new endpapers, binding worn and with some staining and peeling, corners bumped; occasional mild foxing to text and plates, some leaves and a few plates repaired on versos or with short tears to blank margins, in Vol. 1 frontispiece and first few leaves moderately chipped, map with neat fold repairs and minor fold losses, interior generally fine, plates mostly very fine. Contemporary ink inscription to both volumes of A. Carlota Suárez. Complete copies are rare in commerce.

     Mathes, Mexico on Stone, pp. 21: “Massé and Decaen continued to lead in the field of fine lithography. Joining with Cumplido in 1842, they produced a magnificent edition of El Ingenioso Hidalgo don Quijote e la Mancha, generously illustrated with beautiful lithographs by Heredia and Hesiquio Iriarte”; 22 (illustrating a plate); 55 (title cited in bibliography); 63 (Decaen); 64 (Massé). Palau 52078: “Esta edición fué inspirada en la de B. Bergnes, 1839-40. Las litografías son obra de Blanco, Iriarte y Heredia, copiando los dibujos de Tony Johannot. Con todo, representa un esfuerzo editorial muy estimable para los coleccionistas.” Porrúa 6311: “La composición tipográfica y las bellas litografías que adornan esta edición del Quijote, la convertien en una de las mejores impresiones de Ignacio Cumplido y en valiosa joya de la tipografía mexicana del Siglo XIX.” Toussaint, La Litografía en México, p. xvii.

     This work predates Rivière’s Antonino y Anita ó Los nuevos misteros de México (1851), which Escamilla claims to be the first literary work published in Mexico to be illustrated by lithographic plates. Its importance lies not so much in the oft-reprinted text but rather in the fine typography and profusion of excellent lithographs and the beautiful chromolithograph half-title in Vol. 2. Finely and professionally drawn and printed, they manage to capture the comic nature of much of the story without themselves being clownish or amateur and show interesting romanticized depictions of period dress, architecture, and customs. Despite the realism in most of the plates, the portraits of Dulcinea (Vol. 1, p. 6) and Rocinante (Vol. 1, p. 49) do not disappoint in their truthful depictions of Cervantes’ novel. Equally interesting are the depictions of Quijote and Panza’s trip to the sun aboard Clavileño (Vol. 2, p. 264) and Panza as the proud ruler of his insula (Vol. 2, p. 291).


Sold. Hammer: $1,300.00; Price Realized: $1,592.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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