Very Rare Lithograph Ephemeron of Mexican Army Bugle Calls

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453. MEXICO. ARMY. Toques de corneta para saber las operaciones del enemigo. Sacados de la ordenanza de nuestro egercito. Precio 1. rr. | P. de E. [Prensa del Ejército?]. [México, 1846-1847?]. [4] pp (p. [4] blank), with illustration of uniformed bugler on p. [1]. 8vo (22.7 x 17.2 cm). Small, moderate stain at upper right and scattered foxing, creased where formerly folded, small fold splits. Three small, light ink stamps reading “M.V.” on p. [4]. Very rare. No copies on OCLC and no copies at auction in over thirty years. (A similar publication was issued in 1825 in Mexico.)

     First edition? This lithograph sheet music was meant to inform military members of the meaning of various bugle calls, the music and meaning of which are given here, although the printed price implies that the general public could also obtain copies. Supposedly the buglers would be trained on their performance, and the troops would be instructed about what each meant, which would be crucial for them to be effective. Twenty-three calls are printed, the majority of them having to do with battle situations and relaying information about the enemy’s movement. Among them are signals indicating right or left, cavalry or infantry (or both at the same time), artillery, stating the enemy is advancing, a small force or a large force, etc. (One call that the Mexican army probably rarely heard during the war was “El enemigo se retira.”) The last three entries are for bugle orders given in camp. This sheet music probably dates from the Mexican-American War, the advent of which would have made its subject matter more urgent.


Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $918.75.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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