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An early Sampaloc imprint with woodcut skull & crossbones

Roxas y Mello, Esteban de; Nicolas de Leon; & Juan Sanchez de Quiros El Moyses verdadero, en redemptor del israelitico pveblo... en la vida, y mverte, acciones illvstres... del... fr. Joan Angel Rodriguez. Sampaloc impressas en el Convento de Nuestra Señora de Loreto 1743
First edition. Small 4to (19 x 14 cm), pp.[100], [ii], 21-55, [1, blank]. Text printed within typographic frames, with woodcut head and tailpieces, including one of a skull and crossbones. Without the portrait plate found in some copies. Text in Spanish and Latin. Bound in 20th-century black leatherette, paper label on spine. Title-page detached but present; first and final leaves with early paper repairs. Trimmed, affecting printed marginalia and frames, but text otherwise in very good condition.
Retana, Volume 1, 270 & 273. Not in Medina or Pardo de Tavera. We locate copies at the Biblioteca AECID, Newberry Library, National Library of the Philippines, and National Library of Spain.

A remarkable survival and a rare example of an early Sampaloc imprint, this collection of texts was published in honour of Juan Angel Rodriguez (1687-1742), Archbishop of Manila from 1732 until his death. The first section of text contains two funerary discourses, one in Latin and one in Spanish, recounting the archbishop's virtuous life and good works. The second section provides the sermon preached in Spanish by Nicolas de Leon at Rodriguez's funeral on 8 August 1642. Our copy has an unusually well-executed woodcut memento mori, in the form over a skull and crossbones laid over the regalia of the archbishop, on the final page. Such figurative art is rare in Filipino imprints of this period. It was printed at the Convent of our Lady of Loreto in the village of Sampaloc, now part of Manila, but then a small hamlet. The earliest book printed at Sampaloc dates to 1736, after the Franciscans transferred their printing press from Manila to the convent. The important Cronica de la Provincia de San Gregorio by Juan de San Antonio was printed in three volumes at the convent press between 1739 and 1744. Retana described El Moyses verdadero as tan raro impresso (a very rare imprint), even by the standards of printing in the Philippines. Sampaloc imprints are rare in their own right, relative to works printed in Manila. The paper of our copy is in unusually good condition for an 18th-century Philippine printing, without the brittleness or worming often found.