'…Quatuor passions Christi' – $26,000 (£20,000) at Swann.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Sold for $26,000 (£20,000) at Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium), its composer was a Franciscan monk from Cádiz, but this work was created while Navarro was based in the state of Michoacán and printed in Mexico in 1604. The work was intended for use in Indian missionary parishes under mendicant supervision.

Taking $36,000 (£27,690) in the same sale was an early and anonymously published work by the Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Dated to 1674 and running to just eight disbound pages, Villancicos que se cantaron en los maitines del gloriosissimo Padre S. Pedro Nolasco… comprises Christmas carols intended to be sung in honour of the 13th century saint of the title.

One humorous section, headed ‘Tocotin’, evokes a traditional dance and includes some words in the local Nahuatl language. It is sung by a boastful Indian dancer who, playing an out-of-tune guitar, offers to take on an entire army in defence of the saint.

The sale took place on April 16.