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DUPAIX, Guillaume, et José Luciano CASTAÑEDA

Antiquités mexicaines. Relation des trois expéditions du colonel Dupaix, ordonnées en 1805, 1806 et 1807, pour la Recherche des Antiquités du pays

Paris, Bureau des Antiquités mexicaines, Imprimerie de Firmin-Didot, 1844




FIRST EDITION of the Dupaix text. FIRST EDITION of François-René de Chateaubriand's Lettre aux auteurs de l'ouvrage des Antiquités mexicaines

Three parts bound in two folio volumes (538 x 352mm)

COLLATION, CONTENT AND ILLUSTRATION : - volume of text : 4 leaves (half-title, title, dedicace and attestation), pp. V to XIV, one leaf (letter of Humboldt), one leaf (half-title first expedition), pp. 3 to 20), one leaf (half-title second expedition), pp. 3 to 56, one leaf (half-title third expedition), pp. 3 to 40,), one leaf (half-title ; notes), pp. 3 to 88 and 2 leaves of table, 2 leaves (half-title and title Parallèle des anciens monuments mexicains avec ceux de l’Egypte, de l’Inde), pp. 5 to 82, 2 leaves (half-title and title Recherches sur les Antiquités de l’Amérique du Nord et de l’Amérique du Sud), pp. 5 to 224, 2 leaves of table - volume of plates : half-title, frontispiece, one leaf (half-title first expedition), 32 plates numbured I to XXXII, two leaves (half-title, second expedition), 69 plates numbered I to LXIX – the pl. LXVI is erroneously numbered LVIII), two leaves (half-titles third expedition), 46 pl. num. I to XLVI – pl. XLII, XLIII and XLV are on the same sheet, 2 leaves (supplementary plates) and 9 pl. num. I to IX, 10 pl. num. I to X – pl. I and II on the same sheet, the same for the pl. V, VI, VII and VIII, 2 leaves (table), one map on a loose leaf.
TOTAL of : one frontispiece, one map and 166 plates after Castenada, by Engelmann and Thierry, luxuriously coloured by a contemporary hand

FRENCH CONTEMPORARY MOROCCO BINDINGS. Red morocco, elaborate decoration of blind and glit fillets on sides, spines gilt
PROVENANCE : comte de Chambord (label of bookdealer Maggs, in London) -- Sir Robert Abdy (book-plate)

Few staining, margin of the map torn with no loss

In 1805, Captain Dupaix carried out a survey of every known ancient monument in Mexico, which he recorded in three travelogues to which were attached several magnificent hand drawings by Castenada. During the wars which devastated Spain and Mexico, the drawings and travelogue remained in the hands of Castenada, who then submitted them to the Mexico City Cabinet of Natural History. In 1828 Abbot Baradère, a French traveler, obtained ownership of Castenada’s drawings and a copy of Dupaix’s manuscript from the government. In Paris, Engelmann and then Thierry engraved the monuments, statues, weapons and scenes of life based on Castenada’s drawings. Two texts by Chateaubriand appear in Dupaix’s work. The first, entitled, “Extrait du voyage en Amérique par M. le comte de Chateaubriand” (Section XIII, page 80 of the text), was used as the 1827 edition’s Advertisement to the Reader. The second text, however, is published here for the first time in Dupaix’s work. Dated September 10, 1836, it is entitled, “Lettre aux auteurs de l'ouvrage des Antiquités mexicaines” (Letter to the Authors of the Work on Mexican Antiquities) (Translated) : “When I first laid sight on the magnificent edifices reproduced in Antiquités Mexicaines, I admired them at length, but then quickly receded to those melancholy thoughts that are born of the spectacle of such glorious monuments that, before their downfall, dominated the surrounding woods, and that today carry those same woods atop their crumbled ruins.” (Section XIV, page 86 of the text) Leclerc has pointed out seven preface leaves that accompanied the plates of L'Amérique par M. Warden that are absent from this copy. No copy containing plates with contemporary coloring has appeared on national or international auction markets in over thirty years.

REFERENCES : Sabin 40038 – Leclerc 1065 -- Palau 13069