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Price Realized: $30,000 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2473 Lot 294
(MEXICAN MANUSCRIPTS.) Bound records of the silver mine at Taxco, a remarkably early business archive. Dozens of documents in 235 manuscript leaves. Folio, 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, in modern vellum; first 2 leaves defective, dampstaining, moderate worming and wear. In a modern 1/2 morocco folding case. Mexico, 1576-77
Estimate $25,000 - 35,000
A compendium of records relating to the profitable silver-mining estate of Luís de Castilla (1502-1580) at Taxco, Guerrero. Castilla was a relative of Juana, wife of Hernán Cortés, which helped him secure the property. The mines began production in 1542, and expanded to include several haciendas and settlements. The profits began to dwindle in the 1560s, however, and in 1576, Castilla sued his manager Luís Martín Lozano for fraud.
These records were compiled for use in Castilla's lawsuit. They include copies and originals of documents, some dating back to the 1540s. Included are detailed personnel lists, testimony by mine workers, inventories of mining equipment and slave quarters, and 2 royal documents setting forth the parameters of the trial. In addition to a detailed picture of mining operations, the documents provide a rich trove of social history for this very early period in colonial history. On leaf "ee v" verso, for example, is a 1559 account of the town crier "Francisco Mulatto" greeting worshippers as they left mass at a village church with an announcement of the sale of the hacienda and its slaves by previous owner. Provenance: Sotheby's London sale, 3 December 1992, lot 164, to the consignor.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $30,000