Apr 16, 2019 - Sale 2505

Sale 2505 - Lot 257

Price Realized: $ 32,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
"FIRST MUSIC BY A NEW WORLD COMPOSER PRINTED IN THE NEW WORLD" (MEXICAN IMPRINT--1604.) Navarro, Juan. Liber in quo quatuor passiones Christi Domini continentur. Illustrated title page and other illustrations, music leaves printed artfully in red and black. [4], 105, [1] leaves on heavy paper. Folio, contemporary vellum, moderate wear, detached from text block; lacking front free endpaper, moderate dampstaining, minor worming; edges tinted red; early inscription on title page; early inscriptions on title page and final leaf. Mexico: Diego López Dávalos, 1604

Additional Details

The composer, also known as Juan Navarro Gaditanus (circa 1550-1610), was a Franciscan monk from Cádiz who wrote this setting of the four passions while in Michoacán. The dealer Lathrop Harper, who handled a copy in 1968, believed this to be "the first music by a New World composer printed in the New World." It is discussed at length in Stevenson's "Music in Aztec & Inca Territory," pages 193-8. He notes that it was "designed for use in Indian missionary parishes under mendicant supervision" as evidenced by the endorsements Navarro secured, and was "the last Mexican publication to be printed in Gothic type." Medina, Mexico 218; Palau 188254; Sabin 52112. None known at auction since 1979.