Accounts Book of Joseph Alvarez

AUCTION 51 | Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Graphic & Ceremonial Art Including: The Alfonso Cassuto Collection of Iberian Books, Part II

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Lot 53

Accounts Book of Joseph Alvarez

Manuscript in French and Portuguese. Black ink on paper ff. (100). 18ff. contentful, 82ff. blank. Dampstained. Limp vellum. 4to

Paris: 1767-1774

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, First Marquess of Pombal (1699-1782), was Minister of the Kingdom in the government of King Joseph I of Portugal from 1750-77. The present manuscript is an account book kept by the book-dealer Joseph Alvarez, listing the books he acquired on behalf of Minister Pombal and others. Most of the books are of a medical or scientific nature, others relate to political science. If a man can be judged by his library, then this accounts-book, with its exhaustive lists of books to be purveyed to "Son Excellence Monsieur de Mello, Ministre et Secretaire d'Etat," allows a rare glimpse into the interests of the man who perhaps more than any other, brought Portugal in line with the European Enlightenment. See M. Cheke, Dictator of Portugal: A Life of the Marques of Pombal (1938); K. Maxwell, Pombal: Paradox of the Enlightenment (1995). Further regarding Joseph Alvarez, see Academy of Portuguese History, Anais, Vol. XIV (Lisbon, 1966) pp. 159-64. An intriguing manuscript in the biography of the Prime Minister who broke the centuries-old stranglehold that the Office of the Inquisition had over Portuguese society.