Lot 323: BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS. A COMPLETE SET OF HIS INDIAN TRACTS, 1552-1553

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Description: Tracts 1-2 [bound 4th] Brevissima relacion de la destruycion de las Indias. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, 1552, FIRST EDITION, 54 leaves (including 4 leaves [Tract 2] at end (signature 'g') with drop-title ' Lo que se sigue es un pedaco de una carta y relacion que escrivio cierto hombre', often catalogued separately, but bibliographically part of the Brevissima), title printed in red and black below woodcut arms of Spain within four-part woodcut border, woodcut initials, EARLY MANUSCRIPT ANNOTATIONS ON 8 PAGES, [Alden & Landis 552/8; Church 87-88; Field 860-861; Medina BHA 151; Palau 46941; Sabin 11227-8], e4-5 with repaired tear at foot of inner margin affecting a few letters, f5 with small hole affecting a few letters
'The Brevissima relacion remains today almost unparalleled in the vigor of its composition and the nobility of its design... The work is divided into nineteen Articles, each portraying in detail the condition of the Indians, in one of the provinces of Spanish America... ' (Field, p. 217). The four leaves at the end contain the account of a Spanish traveller who witnessed some of the atrocities committed upon the indigenous people by the Spaniards.

Tract 3 [bound 7th] Entre los remedios que don fray Bartolome delas Casas... refirio por mandado del Emperador... para reformacion de las Indias. Seville: Jacome Cromberger, 1552, FIRST EDITION, 53 leaves (lacking final blank), title printed in red and black within four-part woodcut border incorporating the arms of Spain, LONG MANUSCRIPT NOTE ON VERSO OF TITLE (showing through to recto of title), [Alden & Landis 552/9; Church 89; Field 862; Medina BHA 146; Palau 46942; Sabin 11229], without final blank, short tear to foot of title, tear to lower blank margin of f8
'Assigns twenty reasons to prove that the Indians should not be given to the Spaniards in any form of slavery' (Church). 'Though printed by Cromberger, the title page is set within the same woodcut border used by Trugillo for [Tract 7], implying collaboration.' (Alden & Landis)

Tract 4 [bound 6th] Este es un tratado... compuso por commission del Consejo Real de las Indias: sobre la materia de los yndios que se han hecho en ellas esclavos. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, 12 September, 1552, FIRST EDITION, 36 leaves, final page blank, title printed in red and black within four-part woodcut border, woodcut initials, a few manuscript corrections to the text and pen trials, [Alden & Landis 552/10; Church 93; Field 866; Medina BHA 149; Palau 46944; Sabin 11230]
This tract contains judicial authorities and reasons supporting the argument that the native Americans should be freed from slavery.

Tract 5 [bound 1st] Tratado comprobatorio del Imperio soberano ... que los reyes de Castilla y Leon tienen sobre las Indias. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, 8 January 1553, FIRST EDITION, 80 leaves, Gothic type, title printed in red and black below woodcut arms of Spain, within elaborate four-part woodcut border, woodcut initials, printed CANCEL-SLIPS (of two lines each) at foot of e5r and f6r, [Alden & Landis 553/19; Church 96; Field 869; Medina 156; Palau 46947; cf. Sabin 11231 (second edition, published in the same year with 84 leaves)]
WITH THE RARE CANCEL SLIPS. 'The purpose of this tract is "to prove the sovereign empire and universal dominion by which the kings of Castile and Leon hold the West Indies"' (Church). The longest of Las Casas' essays, and considered by the great collector Salva 'to be the rarest' (Palau).

Tract 6 [bound 8th] Aqui se contienen unos avisos y reglas para los confessores que oyeren confessiones de los Españoles que son o han sido en cargo a los Indios de las Indias del mar Oceano. Seville: Trugillo, 20 September, 1552, FIRST EDITION, 16 leaves, final page blank, title beneath a woodcut cut of a confessor with a penitent, within a four-part woodcut border, one underlining and marginal note in ink, signature beneath colophon of Juan Joseph de la Madriz, [Alden & Landis 552/11; Church 90; Field 860-861; Medina BHA 148; Palau 46945; Sabin 11232]
'This tract was written in America in 1546 or 1547, for the direction of confessors during Las Casas's attendance at the Council held in the City of Mexico in 1547' (Church). The rules state that all rites of the Church were to be denied to all those who held Indians as slaves.

Tract 7 [bound 2nd] Acqui se contienen treynta proposiciones muy juridicas: en las quales sumaria y succintemente se tocan muchas cosas pertenecientes al derecho que la yglesia y los principes christianos tienen, o pueden tener sobre los infieles de qualquier especie que sean. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, 1552, FIRST EDITION, 10 leaves, Gothic type, title printed in red and black within four-part woodcut border, woodcut initials, MANUSCRIPT ANNOTATIONS, [Alden & Landis 552/12; Church 94; Field 867; Medina 148; Palau 46946; Sabin 11233]
These 'Thirty propositions' were written to support the twelve rules that Las Casas ad written for confessors in his diocese regarding the bestowing of the rites of the Church, which were refused to all those who held Indians as slaves, as decreed by a Bull of Pope Paul III. Casas also responds to complaints that all property obtained by violence from natives must be returned to them.

Tract 8 [bound 5th] Aqui se contiene una disputa o controversia: entre … las Casas ... y el doctor Gines de Sepulveda. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, 10 September, 1552 FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (with final line of title reading "Año 1552"), 62 leaves (including final blank), title printed in red and black beneath woodcut arms of Spain from Cromberger's stock (the same blocks used in tract 2), within four-part woodcut border, A FEW MARGINAL ANNOTATIONS AND CORRECTIONS TO THE TEXT, [Alden & Landis 552/13; Church 91; Field 865; Medina BHA 147; Palau 46943; Sabin 11234]
Contains Domingo de Soto's account of the controversy between Las Casas and Sepulveda, who argued against the personal rights of the Indians.

Tract 9 [bound 3rd] Principia quedam ex quibus procedendum est in disputatione ad manifestandam et defendendam justiciam Yndorum [drop-title]. Seville: Sebastian Trugillo, [?1552], FIRST EDITION, 10 leaves, Gothic type, title printed in red and black, [Alden & Landis 552/15; Church 95; Field 868; Medina, BHA 152; Palau 46948; Sabin 11235]
'This tract gives the principles on which Las Casas conducts his defence of the rights of the natives, and was evidently written to familiarize the clergy with the principles upon which he based his whole theory of the rights of the Indians to personal liberty and rights of property' (Church).

Together 9 tracts in 8 parts bound in one volume, small 4to (208 x 146mm.), MANUSCRIPT ANNOTATIONS IN SEVERAL HANDS, CONTEMPORARY LIMP VELLUM, remains of leather ties, flat spine titled in ink, faint ink inscription on upper cover by Diego Fernández de Córdoba Ponce de León, small paper library label at foot of spine ('B / d-14'), MANUSCRIPT NOTES on the endpapers by Diego and Iñigo Fernández de Córdoba Ponce de León (see footnote), occasional light waterstaining, slight wear to binding, lacking ties

Condition Report: Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Provenance: 1. Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, (b. Cuzco, 1539, d. Córdoba, 1616), see note below
2. Diego Fernández de Córdoba Ponce de León, friend of Garcilaso de la Vega, his signature at foot of first title, and notes on upper cover and preliminary endpapers, stating this book was owned by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.
3. Iñigo Fernández de Córdoba Ponce de León (son of Diego), signature on verso of final endpaper, and manuscript notes on endpapers, confirming his father's statement and providing additional information on Garcilaso de la Vega.
4. Juan Joseph de la Madriz (fl. 1780s), signature on first title and beneath the colophon of the final part
5. Jesuit Province of Toledo, inscription on preliminary free endpaper ("Prov a. Tolet. S.J.", i.e. Provincia Toletana)
6. Acquired in the early twentieth century by the father of the present owner.
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