Codice Cospi. Calendario messicano 4093 Biblioteca Universitaria de Bolonia

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Author: Aguilera Garcia, Maria del Carmen

Year: 1988

Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) /Gobierno del Estado de Puebla

Place: Mexico City


2 parts. Text: 115 pages. Codex fold out accordion Small square octavo (7 1/2" x 7 1/4) Housed in stiff paper slipcase. (Handbook of Middle American Indians volume 14, page 113).

The Codex Cospi also know as Codex Cospianus. Codice Cospiano, Codice de Bologna. Codice de Bolonia. Libro della China. is a book belonging to a group of five pictorial manuscripts known as the Codex Borgia Group. The cover which dates from the 17th century shows an inscription indicating that the codex was given as a Christmas present to Ferdinando Cospi by Valerio Zani, in 1665. Nothing is known of the history before this date. The first mention of the codex was made by Lorenzo Legati in his catalog of the Museo Cospiano. The first edition of the MS was by Edward King, Lord Kingsborough, in 1831, lithographed from tracings made by Agli. In the middle of the 19th century a task of commentation of the document was made by Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti. A facsimile in photochrome-lithography was published in 1898 by J Florimond, Duc de Loubat; a commentary by Eduard Seler in 1900. The third is by color photography and includes a page-by-page commentary. The fourth, this copy, is a photographic color facsimile. In this edition on leaf (two blank pages) is omitted and the back cover placed on the wrong side.

The manuscript is well preserved. it is painted on deerskin, and protected by two 17th century covers which were probably made to replace former wooden covers. There are few data available for studying the colors used by micro-analytical methods. In the present study the colors have, for the first time, been described through the use of color-standards without recourse to chemical analysis. The style of art of the Codex Cospi has similarities with the style of paintings on pottery from Nochistlan in the Mixteca Alta region of southwestern Mexico; but there are also resemblances to the style of Cholula-Tlaxcala. The recto side consists of three sections in which calendrical data are linked with sequences of pictures. These arrangements were used for divinatory purposes. On the verso side, which at first had been left blank, eleven rituals were depicted by the hand of another painter. Rituals of this kind have been preserved of modern time, through much mixed with phenomena of acculturation.


Some rubbing to slipcase extremities and tear at fold over else a better than very good copy.

SOLD 2016

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