The Benson Latin American Collection

Ex-Stendahl Collection, 16th cent.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Stendahl Art Galleries
Title: Ex-Stendahl Collection
Dates: 16th cent.
Abstract: Three 16th century documents, including a Lienzo de Tlaxcala, a boundary document, and a genealogy.
Accession No.: N/A
OCLC Record No.: N/A
Extent: 3 items
Language: Spanish and Nahuatl
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents Note

The Ex-Stendahl Collection consists of three 16th century colonial Mexican documents: a version of the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, a boundary document, and a genealogy. The collection is named Ex-Stendahl based on the practice of naming documents after their private owner, in this case Alfred Stendahl and the Stendahl Galleries in California. The items were purchased in 1964 by the Huntington Art Gallery at the University of Texas at Austin, and transferred to the Benson Collection in 1993. Detailed narrative descriptions of the documents are available in the reading room.


Access Restrictions

Some uses of the documents may be limited due to the fragile nature of the media.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The Ex-Stendahl Collection is classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Cortés, Hernán, 1485-1547
Indians of Mexico--Writing--Sources
Manuscripts, Mexican--Sources
Tlaxcala (Mexico : State)--History
Mexico--History--Conquest, 1519-1540
Document Types
Codices (Mesoamerican)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Ex-Stendahl Collection, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory

I. Lienzo de Tlaxcala, 16th cent.,
[4 panels on 1 leaf, amatl paper]

The Ex-Stendahl Lienzo de Tlaxcala in an incomplete copy of an original document created in about 1544 or 1545 as a claim to Spain that Tlaxcalans should be exempt from taxes due to the aid they gave Hernando Cortés in conquering the Mexica. The original was painted on a large sheet of cotton cloth and sent to Spain (where it accomplished its purpose). In 1898 it was lent to lithographers to create a reproduction and was never seen again.
The four scenes of the Ex-Stendahl Lienzo de Tlaxcala tell the story of Cortés' arrival and his reception by the Tlaxcalans. Cortés meets with Xicotencatl in the Tecpan at Tlaxcala, and is presented with a number of gifts. The exact date and origin of the document are unknown.

II. Boundary Document, 16th cent.,
[1 leaf, amatl paper]

A land claim, likely from between 1580 and 1600. It includes a brief genealogical tree to establish rightful ownership, and then a pictorial description of the lands in question.

III. Circular Genealogy, 16th cent.,
[1 leaf, European paper]

Probably formed part of a land claim sometime after 1580. This item, as well as the boundary document, date from the period when pictographic documents were accepted by Mexican courts in land disputes, a period that ended about 1620.