Maya Handschrift der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek Dresden Codex Dresdensis

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Author: Lips, Eva and Helmut Deckert

Year: 1962

Publisher: Akademie Verlag

Place: Berlin


18 pages with one color plate laid in and 74 addition loose color plates. Small folio (12 1/4" x 8 3/4") Concordance in a velum clamshell case house in a slipcase. Pamphlet by Lips describes edition; pamphlet by Decker gives excellent historical and bibliographic study with bibliography of over 800 titles; the 74 plates are by color photography but differ materially from those published by Forestmann. Limited to 700 copies.

Dresden, Codex. Codex Dresdensis. Sachsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden. Ritual-calendrical. Lowland Maya region, Southeastern Mexico and Guatemala. Preconquest. Amatl paper screenfold. 39 leaves painted on both sides (4 pages blank). 9 x 20.5 centimeters (total length 356 centimeters). The manuscript was purchased in 1739 from an unidentified person in Vienna by Johann Christian Gotze, librarian of the Koniglichen Bibliothek zu Dresden, and acquired by the library in 1740. Some details from the manuscript were published in a somewhat exotic context by Ranchnitz (1796), a curiosity recently reported and reprinted by Coe (1963). Humboldt (1810) published five of its pages in color after having learned of existence from an account by Bottiger (1811). The known history of the manuscript is given by Forestemann (1880) and Deckert In Lips and Deckert (1962). One of the most important of the surviving preconquest Mesoamerican pictorial manuscripts, the Codex Dresden contains divinatory almanacs, multiplication tables for synodical revolutions of the planet Venus, representations (with explanatory glyphic texts) of various ceremonies and deities, eclipse and Venus tables, multiplication tables of various numbers (presumably astronomical, divinatory, or calendrical in nature), and other matters, including disease and agriculture. J E S Thompson notes that is almost certainly a copy, that it exhibits Mexican influence, and that it may date from the 12th Century. Eleven complete edition of the manuscript have appeared. The first, by Kingsborough (1831-1848), is still considered to be of use because of the deterioration of the original. The first and second editions by Forstemann (1880, 1892) are photographic and in color, but the color is inaccurate in detail. The Forsteman edition dated 1882 may be only a publisher's variant of the 1880 edition. The editions by Villacorta and Villacorta (1930, 1930-33), Evreinov, Kosarev and Ustinov (1961), and Knorozov (1963) derive from earlier editions as does that by Libreria Echaniz (1947). The Gates (1932) edition has the glyphs set in type, a much criticized feature. The color photographic edition by Lips and Deckert is similar to those by Forestmann but differs from them in detail. It contains an excellent historical and bibliographic review of the manuscript and studies thereof superseding that by Forestman.


Clamshell case some with some soiled else a better than very good copy.

SOLD 2015

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