Codex Florentintino. 218-20 Manuscript of the Palatine Collection of the Laurentian Library

  • $2,500.00
    Unit price per 

Author: Sahagún, Bernardino de (1499 – 1590)

Year: 1969

Publisher: Casa Editorial Giunti Barbera

Place: Mexico City


3 volumes. v+[353 leaves]+[3 blank leaves with Laurentian Library stamps] with color illustrations through out; [2 blank leaves with Laurentian Library stamps]+375 leaves]+two blank leaves with color illustrations through out; four blank leaves with Laurentian Library stamp+494 leaves+one blank leaf with color and black and white illustrations through out. Quarto (12 1/4" x 8 3/4") bound in full leather with gilt lettering to spine. first complete photographic reproduction of the Florentine Codex on period paper, limited to 2000 copies.

The Florentine Codex is a 16th-century ethnographic research project in Mesoamerica by Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún. Sahagún originally titled it: La Historia Universal de las Cosas de Nueva España. After a translation mistake it was given the name "Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España". The best-preserved manuscript is commonly referred to as "The Florentine Codex" after the Italian town hosting the archive library where it is held, the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy. In partnership with Aztec men who were formerly his students, Sahagún conducted research, organized evidence, wrote and edited his findings starting in 1545 up until his death in 1590. It consists of 2,400 pages organized into twelve books with over 1,846 illustrations drawn by native artists providing vivid images of this era. It documents the culture, religious cosmology (worldview) and ritual practices, society, economics, and natural history of the Aztec people. One scholar described The Florentine Codex as “one of the most remarkable accounts of a non-Western culture ever composed.” Charles E. Dibble and Arthur J. O. Anderson were the first to translate the Codex from Nahuatl to English, in a project that took 30 years to complete. The Florentine Codex is a complex document, assembled, edited, and appended over decades. Sahagún’s goals of orientating fellow missionaries to Aztec culture, providing a rich Nahuatl vocabulary, and recording the indigenous cultural heritage at times compete with each other within it. The manuscript pages are generally of two columns, with Nahuatl, written first, on the right and a Spanish translation on the left. There are diverse voices, views, and opinions in these 2,400 pages, and the result is a document which at times can appear contradictory. The codex was generally unknown until about 1883, although a good catalog description was published by Bandini (1791-93), and Civezza (1879) had confirmed its existence in Florence. A reprint of the description by Bandini in Garcia Icazabalceta (1886), the reproduction of some of its drawings by Brinton (1890) and Penafiel (1890)after copies obtained by Seler and a description of the manuscript by Paso y Troncoso (1896) are among the first modern publications on the codex.


A near fine set in like jackets.

SOLD 2014

We Also Recommend