Beautiful Broadside Printed by the First Woman Printer in Puebla

Tithes in Food, Crops & Livestock set out for Indios and Españoles

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526. SPAIN. LAWS. Memoria de todos los generos, y especies de que se deven pagar diezmo, segun derecho, y costumbre assentada, en este obispado de la Puebla de los Angeles, para que sus Curas, y Vicarios en todo el hagan notorio à todos los Dezmatarios, come se ha hecho por mandado de los Señores Obispos dël; hecha de orden de Illustrissimo Señor Obispo Don Diego Osorio de Escobar, y llamas, de Consejo de su Magestad &c. [centered heading above first list] Los Españoles, y todos los demàs que no fueren Indios.... [Puebla de los Angeles: Viuda de Juan de Borja y Gandía, 1663]. Folio broadside (43 x 31.2 cm) on laid paper watermarked SP DP in three circles. Printed partly in triple columns, typographical ornaments at top and between elements of text. Creased where formerly folded, otherwise exceptionally fine.

     First Mexican edition. Medina, Puebla de los Angeles 60. Palau 160687. No copies on OCLC, which reports one copy of a similar text in three pages published in Guatemala in 1732. Authorized in Puebla 4 May 1662 (Medina). An elegant reminder to Puebla citizens that they were expected to pay church tithes on their farm products and produce, although it is not clear if the payment is to be in money or kind. Two classes of citizens are outlined: (1) “Los Españoles, y todos los demàs que no fueron Indios”; and (2) “Memoria de los generos de qve deven diezmo los natvrales.” Finally, an exception, “Generos de la tierra, de que no pagan diezmo los naturales,” is spelled out at the very bottom. The tithes due from Spaniards are extensive and include just about every kind of product imaginable, including grain, corn, Opuntia tuna, cocoa, fruits, fruit, maguey products, tobacco, cotton, mules, butter, milk, cheese, grown silk, sugar, honey, vinegar, fish, beef, chickens, doves, pigeons, hides, vanilla, chiles, etc. This litany of flora and fauna of the earth and its waters gives us a glimpse of the foodstuffs, raw materials, and other products of colonial New Spain. One interesting provision is that Native Americans are exempt from paying tithes on pulque. No deductions or discounts of any kind are allowed. This is a classic example of New World church financing, which does not differ all that much from a Pre-Cortesian tribute roll, except printed words are used instead of painted pictorial elements and glyphs.

     Diego Escobar y Llamas (?-1673), a Spanish native, was bishop of Puebla 1656-73 and became the twenty-fourth viceroy of New Spain in 1644. He built religious structures in Puebla and contributed personally to New Spain’s defense. This broadside was printed by Inés Vásquez Borja y Gandía, widow of Juan de Borja y Gandía who began printing in 1654 but died in 1656, after which the printing house was taken over by Inés, a native of Barrancos en Castilla la Vieja (now Portugal). In her imprints, thirty-five of which have been identified, Inés always referred to the press as “Viuda de Juan de Borja y Gandía.” The printing shop remained active until 1682, and she died on December 6, 1686, at about 85 years of age. Sra. Borja y Gandía was the first woman printer in Puebla, and the beauty of her work has been noted. This rare broadside is a lovely example of Inés’ work, with its creative use of type ornaments that lend a certain vivacity to the layout and presentation. See Biblioteca Palafoxiana, La mujer novohispana en la imprenta (Exhibit, March 2011): “The vision and role of women printers not only contributed to the persistence of important workshops in New Spain, but their activity was recognized by the civil and religious authorities who granted them certain privileges.” The genealogy of the Borja y Gandí family is thoroughly confused.


Sold. Hammer: $1,600.00; Price Realized: $1,960.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts


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