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Sale 2486 Lot 457
(MEXICAN IMPRINT--1665.) Montemayor de Cuenca, Juan Francisco. Summaria investigacion de el origen, y privilegios delos ricos hombres. Full-page engraving of the Kings of Spain, engraved title page. , 135, , 321,  leaves. 4to, modern 1/2 vellum over marbled boards; title page cropped and laid down, deckle edges, top edge gilt, minor dampstaining. [Mexico, 1665]
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000
A substantial work on the nobility of old Spain, written and published in New Spain. Much of it relates to the legal relationship between vassals and their lords. On pages 300-1, he makes clear that Christian vassals possessed more rights than their Jewish or Muslim counterparts, "whose persons always belong to the King." All vassals, however, could be imprisoned or executed at will: "The lords of estates can, with the force of absolute power . . . treat well or abuse their peasant vassals who owe them personal service, and, if they so please, imprison, punish, and kill them by hunger, thirst, or the knife." The date is usually given as 1664, but two of the preliminaries are dated 1665. Medina, Mexico II:920; Palau 178029; Sabin 50111.