Jun 21, 2016 - Sale 2420

Sale 2420 - Lot 356

Price Realized: $ 27,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 30,000 - $ 40,000
HERRERA, ANTONIO DE. Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas i Tierra Firme del mar Oceano * Descripcion de las Indias Occidentales. 14 maps, 9 engraved title pages. 9 volumes in 4. Folio, contemporary vellum, decorative backstrips, minor wear; intermittent dampstaining and repairs, recased, engraved title pages of Decada III through VI transposed or supplied with titles altered to suit. In an attractive wooden case. Madrid: Juan Flamenco, 1601 and Juan de la Cuesta, 1615

Additional Details

first edition. One of the most comprehensive early histories of the Spanish colonies, produced with full access to secret Spanish archives and drawing upon manuscript sources which are no longer extant. It is divided into eight Decadas, each with their own unique engraved title page full of vignettes of conquistadors and battle scenes. Bound after Decada IV (as issued) is Herrera's Descripcion de las Indias Occidentales, 1601. This includes some of the very few Spanish maps of America to appear in print, as the Spanish were very protective of their discoveries. They were based on manuscript maps by Juan López de Velasco. These plates were not used in any later editions, making them quite scarce. Three of them depict parts of North America.
Borba de Moraes page I:399 ("rare and much sought after"); Burden 140-142; European Americana 601/42, 601/41; Medina, BHA 455; Palau 114286 ("Obra importante y una de las más completas acerca de la Indias desde su descubrimiento hasta 1554"); Sabin 31544, 31539; Wagner, Spanish Southwest 12. Several of these sources disagree on the proper collation, but the present set seems to be complete other than a blank leaf possibly lacking from Decada V, and the illustrated title to Decada V (replaced by a duplicate title from Decada II). This is the most complete set we are aware of at auction since 1992. Detailed notes on the condition and collation available upon request. Provenance: collection of the late Dr. Thomas H. Wood; Swann sale, 8 April 2014, lot 297, to Dean Cycon.