Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 340

Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
(MEXICAN MANUSCRIPTS.) Isidro Verdugo y Santa Cruz. Decorative acrostic display of poems about San Juan Nepomuceno. One manuscript page, 16 x 11 inches, with name of patron in red over what appears to be invisible ink; disbound, folds, closed tears with early paper repairs on verso, moderate wear and slight loss of text. [San Luis Potosí?], circa 1750

Additional Details

These poems were composed and arranged by attorney Isidro Verdugo y Santa Cruz, active in Indian matters in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. They relate to San Juan Nepomuceno (Saint John of Nepomuk), as well as the author and his colleagues. At the center is a prominent acrostic poem, labeled the 'third acrostic sonnet' in what must have been a larger series or volume. Curiously and distinctively, Verdugo arranged the acrostic in a large circular shape, decorated with illustrated flourishes of foliage and shapes resembling fleurs-de-lis. The letters of the author's name, Isidro Verdugo, begin each of the poem's sentences, which radiate from the edge of the circle toward its center. The poem's content is partly based on the (erroneous) etymology of his name, which according to his fellow attorney Juan Perfecto de Arcos, comes from the Latin word for 'golden star.' Figures of hands point towards a smaller circle within it, which contains a second acrostic poem, based on the name of San Juan Nepomuceno; this saint was popular in the silver mining areas of late colonial Mexico. A poem in Latin is written below the two circular acrostics, and four other poems occupy the corners of the folio. Some of the poems are dedicated to the aforementioned saint, while another is in alabanza del mecenas, 'in praise of the patron,' one Juan Lozano. This is apparently part of a lost series of circular acrostic poems by Verdugo about San Juan Nepomuceno and dedicated to Juan Miguel Lozano y Peña, as described by the eminent historian of colonial Mexican art, Manuel Toussaint in Tasco (1932).