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Title Journal de poche de Natchan [manuscript]: J.F. Waldeck: nottes [sic] de théogonie azteque et variété d’autres, pour servir en voyage. Palenque. No. 24 (Treis)
Author Waldeck, Frédéric de (1766-1875)
Document Type Manuscript
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Waldeck’s pocket journal, dating from March 1832 to August 1853, containing his notes on the Aztec deities and other miscellaneous historical and cultural topics. Waldeck begins with a list of authors consulted--among them Boturini, Acosta, Clavigero, Sahagún, Díaz del Castillo and Thévénot--indicating that he had read many of the important works on Indian civilization. He goes on to describe each Aztec deity, analyzing the name, counterpart in Greek mythology, area of domain, and symbols. He also includes reflections on a variety of topics such as theories of Phoenician migration to the Yucatán, the invention of the compass, the Aztec calendar, masques, symbolic uses of color, and werewolves. Notes from London, 1853, include a comment on Stephen’s Incidents of travel in Chiapas, and a critique of methods used by Stephens and his illustrator Frederick Catherwood to study Aztec painting. He also offers an 1853 transcription of earlier notes damaged in a chimney fire, concerning the history of Palenque (Natchan) and the ruins there. With the journal is a small gold tin box (130 x 90 mm.) from a Paris pharmacy, which once contained mustard plasters, used by Waldeck to hold a collection of 37 "flashcards." Waldeck apparently cut up some lithographic prints, by Beer, and by Lemercier, Benard, et Cie. (first established in Paris in 1837), and created a series of 37 small cards (60 x 110 mm.) each containing a Nahuatl vocabulary term, or a small pen or pencil outline drawing of an Aztec glyph. Some cards also contain brief notes by Waldeck on the representation of people and deities in Aztec art and codices. Given the dates that Lemercier’s firm was active in Paris, Waldeck probably prepared the cards after his return from Mexico in 1837.
Names Boturini; Acosta; Clavigero; Sahagún; Díaz del Castillo; Thévéno; Stephens, John Lloyd (1805-1852); Catherwood, Frederick; Beer; Lemercier, Benard, et Cie.
Places Yucatán, Palenque, Mexico; Paris, France
Keywords art, travel, discovery, expedition, Mexican, observation, ethnography, mythology, folklore, religion, history, custom, culture, language, naming, migrant, vocabulary
Theme Indigenous Peoples of Mexico; Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Mesoamerica
Language French
Additional Information French traveller, painter, engraver, and Americanist. Waldeck, of German or Austrian origin, may have been born in Prague, Paris, or Vienna, in 1766. He travelled to Mexico in 1825 to work for a silver mining company, and later lived in Mexico City where he gave classes in painting and drawing. Throughout his travels in Mexico, he made drawings of the Indian antiquities and ruins, especially in Palenque and Uxmal between 1832 and 1835, and in 1837 after his return to Paris, where he spent the last 40 years of his life.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 1264
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue