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First New World Imprint Printed in Three Colors

40. [LIMA IMPRINTS]. 2 related works bound in one volume (the two works are often found together). Folio, recent full calf. Very good.

(1) CATHOLIC CHURCH. DIOCESE OF SANTIAGO (CHILE). SYNOD (1763). ALDAY Y ASPEE, Manuel de. Synodo Diocesana, que celebró el Ilustríssimo Señor Doctor Don Manuel de Alday y Aspee, Obispo de Santiago de Chile, del Consejo de su Magestad, en la Iglesia Catedral de dicha Ciudad. Á que se dió princípio el dia quatro de Enero de mil setecientos sesenta y tres años; y se publicò en veintidos de Abril de dicho año. Lima: Oficina de la Calle de la Encarnacion, 1764. [8], 170, [26 (index)] pp., text printed within double black rule and with side notes, half title printed in red and blue, title printed in terracotta and black within border composed of typographical ornaments, head- and tailpieces.

(2) CATHOLIC CHURCH. DIOCESE OF SANTIAGO (CHILE). SYNOD (1688). CARRASCO SAAVEDRA, Bernardo. Synodo Diocesana, con la Carta Pastoral convocatora para ella: y otra, en orden a la paga de los diezmos Celebróla el Ilvstrissimo y Reverendissimo Señor Doctor Maestro, Don Fray Bernardo Carrasco y Saavedra, Obispo de Santiago de Chile, del Consejo de S. Mgd. en la Iglesia Catedral de dicha Ciudad. A que se dio principio domingo diez y ocho de Enero de mil seiscientos y ochenta y ocho Años; y se publicò en dos de Mayo de dicho Año. Lima: en la Imprenta Real, Calle de Palacio, 1764. [14], 168 pp. pp., text printed within double black rule and with side notes, title printed in red, green, and black within three-color border composed of typographical ornaments, head- and tailpieces.

     First edition of first work, second edition of second work (first printed at Lima in 1690); apparently the first three-color printing in the New World (this seems to be an unstudied subject in relation to South America). The first three-color title printed in the North America (i.e., United States, Canada, Mexico) is generally said to be Timothy Hilliard’s 1789 Sermon. However, Fred Goff found in the Library of Congress a set of cards for teaching geography printed in three colors that was thought to have been printed in Phildelphia by Thomas Dobson in 1786, A New Set of Geographical Cards for the...Study of Geography." See Phil Weimerskirch, "The Beginning of Color Printing in America," Printing History, 48 (Vol. XXIV, No. 2, 2005): 25-40.

     Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana 1438, 1946. Medina, Lima 1210 (different collation calling for four preliminary leaves only in second work). Palau 325995-6. Sabin 11036 (second work only). Vargas Ugarte 1891 (first work only). These elegant, typographically historic colonial American imprints provide accounts of the two synods held in Santiago de Chile in 1688 (organized by Don Bernardo Carrasco y Saavedra, bishop of Santiago) and 1763 (organized by Dr. Don Manuel de Alday y Aspee). Lima, the civil and ecclesiastical capital of Spanish South America, held diocesan synods that determined virtually all aspects of the functions of the Church and doctrinal methodology beginning in the late sixteenth century. These recopilations of councils are contemporary with those of Mexico under archbishop Lorenzana and determine the policy of the Church in South America. Though the emphasis of these works is ecclesiastical (including text of the constitution outlining the rules of the Catholic Church), information may be gleaned on South American social history, cultural events, politics, agriculture, women’s history, and economy.

     Printing in the New World was begun in Mexico in 1539 and taken by Antonio Ricardo, printer in Mexico, to Lima in 1584. As the second place of printing in the New World, Lima printers competed with those of Mexico in producing well-designed, beautiful works. By the eighteenth century, the use of ornate borders, vignettes, and other printers devices became a particularly important part of Hispanic printing, and in the Americas printers in Mexico and Lima pushed for beauty in their works, as in the case of this work and others such as the Missa Gothica in Puebla and the Historia de Nueva España in Mexico, both in 1770.

     Lawrence Thompson in his chapter on Peruvian printing in Printing in Colonial Spanish America (London: Archon Books, 1962) comments on the scarcity of Peruvian colonial imprints—3,948, as compared to 12,412 for Mexico (p. 42). Thompson observes: “Typographically the Lima imprints are less distinguished than are those of Mexico and Guatemala and even of some of the more remote South America communities. The typical Peruvian book was printed with poor ink of domestic manufacture, worn types, unimaginative vignettes and decorative pieces picked up second-hand in Spain and kept in use for a century or more, and on creaky presses that were refugees from the junk heap” (p. 44). The present Lima imprints certainly are the exception to Thompson’s conclusion, being desirable for not only their historic content but  also their typography and design. ($1,250-2,500)

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