Early Gold-Tooled Mexican Binding

Biblia cum concordantiis veteris et novi testamenti. Venice: Lucantonio Giunta, 1511. (31320)

This edition of the Latin Bible was printed in Venice in 1511, but according to a contemporary inscription on the final leaf, the book was in Mexico City by 1559. Judging by the tools and the style of its calfskin binding, the Bible was bound in Mexico in the late sixteenth century. Such early Mexican gold-tooled bindings in the European tradition are extremely uncommon today. Most books imported into Mexico were encased in undecorated limp vellum. The gilt central armorial device on both covers of this book, a shield bearing the five wounds of the crucified Christ, belonged to the Franciscan Convent of Mexico City.

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The Sixteenth Century
Earliest Known Mexican Bindings