Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 73: June 22nd, 2017

click image to enlarge

Lot: 78 CARDOSO, FERNANDO (ISAAC) Utilidades del agua de la nieve, del bever frio i caliente [“The Uses of Water and Snow and of Cold and Hot Beverages.”] FIRST EDITION. Woodcut device on title showing a hand gathering flowers with the motto,”El que me esparsio me recogera.” Additional frontispiece (bound in some copies prior to Part II) headed Las excelencias y calunias de los Hebreos, with another woodcut floral device with the motto, “Ellos maldiziran y yo bendizire.” The book is dedicated to Cardoso’s patron, Don Gaspar de Guzmán, Count of Olivares, Prime Minister of Spain, whose arms appear on the title page. ff. (6), 108. Cropped, shaving first word of title and occasional running titles, some fraying at edges of title page, lightly soiled and stained, minor loss f. 12 affecting a few letters. Unbound. Occasional manuscript marginalia. 16mo. Kayserling, 34.

Aloso Martin, Madrid: 1637. Est: $3,000 - $5,000

-Fernando Cardoso was born in 1603 to a New Christian family of crypto-Jews in Trancoso, Portugal. He studied medicine in Spain and gained access to the highest social circles, eventually became physician to the Court of Philip IV. The publication of the present work secured him a place in the annals of Spanish medical history. As suggested by its title, this treatise discusses the relative benefits of cold and hot beverages, as well as the medicinal properties inherent in water, snow and ice. Despite the extremely favorable reception of the work, his ability to live the dual life of a Converso proved intolerable and he disappeared from Madrid, re-emerging in Venice where he joined the Sephardi community as a professing Jew and reclaimed the name Isaac. It was there that he published the work for which he is celebrated, Las Excelencias de los Hebreos. A masterpiece of Jewish anti-defamation, the work is both an erudite defense of Jewry as a whole and a justification of Cardoso’s own choice to live as a Jew.
     See Y.H. Yerushalmi, From Spanish Court to Italian Ghetto: Isaac Cardoso, A Study in Seventeenth-Century Marranism and Jewish Apologetics (1971) pp. 169-176.

Email this Lot to: