Cartas… [A Series of Letters on Statecraft]

AUCTION 1 | Thursday, November 14th, 1996 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art

Back to Catalogue

Lot 300
CUNHA, DON LUIZ DA.

Cartas… [A Series of Letters on Statecraft]

Autograph Manuscript, in Portuguese, 605pp., black/brown ink on paper. Trace wormed, contemporary speckled calf, some wear, 4to

c.1750

Est: $2,000 - $2,500
Da Cunha, Portuguese Ambassador to France and England, became, as Minister of State, close to the Marquess of Pombal, the dynamic ruler of Portugal from 1750-1777. Influenced by the more enlightened countries of Europe, da Cunha believed that Portugal must ignore the directives of the Catholic Church and establish full civil and religious rights for Jews resident in Portugal. (viz. p.147v: “The Fourth Remedy (to the excesses of the Pope’s Inquisition) should be the primary one - to give the Jews liberty of conscience.”) Indeed, Pombol who transformed Portugal from a medieval to a modern State, abolished the distinction between Old and New Christians (i.e. Jews) and restricted the powers of the Inquisition. See C. Roth, A History of the Marranos (1932) p.349.