Mexico City: Ignacio Cumplido, 1871. First Edition. 2 vols. 4to (27.8 x 19.8 cm). Vol. I: , [i] ii-v [1, blank],  2-248 pp., 12 lithograph plates (including frontispiece portrait of author); Vol. II: [1-3] 4-464,  pp., 26 lithograph plates. Total 38 lithograph plates of views and archaeological scenes by H. Iriarte after the original artwork of Ramón Rodríguez y Arangoiti (4 full-color, including half title to Vol. I; remainder on tinted grounds in various shades of green and sepia). Inexplicably lacking the plan of Pompeii which should be bound in vol. II opposite p. 460; in its place is the lithograph of the Casa de Argos en Herculano which should be bound in vol. II opposite p. 257. Original contemporary dark blue Mexican sheep over green and black marbled boards, spine lettered and decorated in gilt. Binding rubbed and edge worn, corners bumped and rounded, Vol. I hinges open but holding, Vol. II with new endpapers, and pages 339-342 in Vol. II are bound in upside down. TEXT: some browning, offsetting, and scattered ink spots. PLATES: scattered foxing (especially lithograph frontispice) and spotting but generally good. Contemporary ink signature on Vol. II title: Licentiate E. Firado. Small oval blind stamp of Licentiate Miguel Blanca on both title pages, and (presumably) with his initials "M.B." at the foot of the spines. Bookplate removed in vol. 1. A scarce book, with some faults, and priced correctly. Very good. Item #3432
This work is distinguished by the remarkable series of 38 lithographs and chromolithographs by Hesiquio Iriarte (ca. 1820-1897) of Mexico City, ARGUABLY ONE OF THE FINEST LITHOGRAPHERS IN 19TH-CENTURY MEXICO. See Mathes, "Mexico on Stone," pp. 63 (H. Iriarte & the printer Cumplido) and Chapters 3 & 4 (Cumplido), but not mentioning this title. Many of the lithographs employ rich chiaroscuro, conveying a somber sense of the vanished splendor of Pompeian civilization.
Iriarte's earliest major productions were the numerous plates in the extraordinary four-volume Cervantes of 1842 (likewise printed by Ignacio Cumplido) and the lithographs in "El Gallo Pitagórico" (Mexico: Ignacio Cumplido, 1845). He also produced excellent plates for "Apuntes históricos de la heróica ciudad de Vera-Cruz" (Mexico: Ignacio Cumplido, 1850), with a remarkable portrait of Fernando Cortés; "Los Mexicanos pintados por sí mismos" (Mexico: M. Murguía, 1854-1855); "Los Conventos Suprimidos de México" (Mexico: J.M. Aguilar y Compañía, 1861); and "De Miramar a México" (Orizaba: J. Bernardo Aburto, 1864), with an outstanding portrait of Maximilian. He probably executed all of the lithographs published in the monumental satirical periodical "La Orquesta" of the 1860s and 1870s. Spanning a half-century, the role of Iriarte in Mexican lithography cannot be overstated. Iriarte was also responsible for an excellent lithograph portrait of Agustin Iturbide (see DeGolyer Libraries Agustin Iturbide Papers). The present work is one of the most difficult of his works to obtain. Ours is apparently the only copy on the market.
Spanish-born author Zamacois (1820-1885) immigrated to Mexico at an early age, but he spent his time both in Mexico and Spain depending on circumstances. He wrote novels, historical works, and poetry. Although this work was apparently inspired by Edward George Earle Bulwer Lytton’s "The Last Days of Pompeii" (London, 1835), which Zamacois discusses in his introduction, it is not (as Dicc. Porrúa states) a translation of Bulwer Lytton’s novel. Rather, it is an original work of fiction that attempts to more vividly recreate daily life in Pompeii based on archaeological discoveries that had been made since "The Last Days of Pompeii" was published in 1835.
Palau 378907. Not mentioned by Toussaint.