Apr 16, 2019 - Sale 2505

Sale 2505 - Lot 290

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
(MEXICAN IMPRINT--1700s.) Inquisition document on the detection of Jews, Moslems, and other heretics. [9] pages, with armorial woodcut of the Inquisition on first page. Folio, 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, disbound and rebound; minor dampstaining along top edge, minor worming, apparently lacking a final blank leaf. [Mexico], circa early 1700s

Additional Details

This edict urges Mexicans to be on the alert for various categories of heresies, with sections devoted to Ley de Moysen (Jews), Secta de Mahoma (Muslims), Secta de Luthero (Protestants), and other less well-defined groups of heretics. Particular warning signs include lascivious behavior, bigamy, divination by the stars, or owning prohibited books. The followers of the Ley de Moysen in particular can be recognized by observing the Sabbath, saying Jewish prayers, or eating rye bread on Passover. The final leaf has blanks where the date can be added in manuscript, suggesting that it was intended to be re-issued on a regular basis as needed. The present example has no date or signature.
The opening lines, as with most Inquisition documents, are "Nos los inquisidores contra la heretica pravedad, y apostatía, en esta Ciudad, y Arcobiscopado de Mexico." The detailed proscriptions begin with a side-note reading "Ley de Moysen" on the second page, and text beginning "Conviene a saber, si sabeys, ó aveys oydo dezir, que alguna, ó algunas personas ayan guardado algunos Sabados por honra, guarda, y observancia de la ley de Moysen." Several different printings of this decree were issued over the years by various jurisdictions, all printed without date. Of those issued in Mexico, Texas A&M University has a 12-page version with a 1713 date written in (OCLC #56434500), and Kestenbaum Auctions sold a 4-page version in 2018. The Bancroft Library has a version in 5 leaves (OCLC #26941149) which they date to the 1740s, but theirs does not state a Mexican origin--the jurisdiction is left blank. We trace no other examples of this printing.