Early Mexican Lithographs of the Virgin of Guadalupe

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575. [VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE]. VALDÉS, José Francisco. Devocionarios para implorar el poderoso patrocinio de María Santisima en su Soberana Imagen de Guadalupe: Dispuestos por el R.P. Fr. José Francisco Valdés, Religioso de la Provincia de S. Diego. Mexico: Imprenta de Luis Abadiano y Valdés, calle de las Escalerillas número 13, 1845. [i-ii] iii-vi, 1-202 pp., 6 lithograph plates (see plate list below). 12mo (15 x 10 cm), contemporary quarter dark brown Mexican sheep over blue and black mottled boards, spine gilt lettered and decorated. Binding rubbed, corners bumped, edge wear, interior and plates fine.

Plate List

All signed: Lit. de R.1.C. de St. Franco. no. 12 | Ort. (or variants thereof), titled at bottom under image, and measuring approximately 11 x 7.5 cm neat line to neat line.

[1] Sta. Ma. de Guadalupe. Classic image. Opposite p. iii.

[2] Primera Aparicion. The Virgin appears to an amazed Juan Diego while a celestial choir hovers in the background at left. Opposite p. 18.

[3] Segunda Aparicion. The Virgin appears to a fleeing Juan Diego. Opposite p. 59.

[4] Tercera Aparicion. The Virgin appears to a kneeling Juan Diego who holds roses in his tilma. Opposite p. 108.

[5] Quarta Aparicion. The Virgin appears in a dream to a sleeping Juan Diego. Opposite p. 172.

[6] Quinta Aparicion. Juan Diego presents himself and his mysterious tilma to the Bishop and others. Opposite p. 195.

     This book is among the early Mexican books on the Virgin of Guadalupe illustrated with lithographs. Mathes (Mexico on Stone) lists lithographer Rocha and Abadiano y Valdés: “While the lithography shops of the Academia de San Carlos languished, a firm established by two Frenchmen, José Severo Rocha and Carlos Fournier, began the production of lithographs for public sale [in 1836]” (p. 17). The images of the Virgin of Guadalupe are lovely, simple, and imbued with a certain innocence.

     The text is the work of José Francisco Valdés from the Mexican province of San Diego, who served as superior to the Discalced Franciscans. His publications began to appear in 1780, and among his special interests were championing and venerating San Felipe de Jesús (see herein) and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Valdés’ work contributed to a growing national consciousness among Mexican Catholics. Valdés’ earliest work on the Virgin of Guadalupe was Novena a la Santísima Virgen María de Guadalupe (Mexico, 1790; Medina 8018 & Mathes, Bibliotheca Novohispana Guadalupana, p. 64)). The work was popular and reprinted and augmented over time (see for example, Medina 8231, 8423, 8518, 8519, 8626, etc.). An edition published prior to the present one but with the title Devocionarios is the 1718 edition from the firm Zuñiga y Ontíveros, which had one engraving of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Palau 347507).

     This work is divided into fifteen sections that include a variety of devotionals, novenas, prayers, verses, hymns, and other materials appropriate to the veneration of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The primary Devocionario ends on p. 68, and the remainder of the text is taken up with various appendices containing more devotional matter. One section is entitled “Salutacion a Maria Santissima de Guadalupe, para venerarlo en su Santuario cuando se le hace la visita” (pp. 30-35), which is included because there is no previous text that states what a visitor to the sanctuary should do or what she or he should say. The “Semana y Devocion” (pp. 172-199), covering devotions for every day of the week, is attributed to Father Constancio Arsonio. Some of the devotions are noted to carry certain religious favors for their recitation, including what is probably one of the very few graces granted a printer: “Dos Ave Marias por quien imprimió esta novena, y por quien se hizo” (p. 82).


Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $367.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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