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Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
Ercilla y Zúñiga, Alonso de (1533-1594) Primera, Segunda, y Tercera Partes de la Araucana.
Madrid: en casa de Pedro Madrigal, 1590.
First collected edition, title pages to second and third parts dated 1589; octavo, woodcut portrait of the author on §§4 verso, interstitial blank Bb4 present; signature Ddd with nine leaves, an unsigned unnumbered page inserted between Ddd2 & Ddd3, correcting a printer's omission; woodcut devices to all three title pages; a nicely preserved example in full contemporary limp parchment, lacking ties, small wormhole to inner back gutter coming through the binding and entering the last three leaves; ex libris William Charles de Meuron, Earl Fitzwilliam, with armorial bookplate inside front cover, older library shelf numbers in ink on ffep and inside front pastedown, 6 x 4 in.
Ercilla y Zúñiga was a soldier, epic poet, and nobleman who served Spain in South America in their assaults on the Indigenous Mapuche in Chile, a people referred to as Araucanians in this period. The hero of his poem is Caupolicán, war leader or Toqui whose death Ercilla witnessed firsthand, recounting the grisly scene in this work. According to the poet, Caupolicán was captured alive and sentenced to death by impalement. Once on the platform raised above the spike, he kicked the executioner onto the ground and threw himself onto the spike on 5 February 1558.
Rare at auction; Palau 80418; Worldcat records six copies worldwide.