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Tapia Zenteno, Carlos de. ARTE NOVISSIMA DE LENGUA MEXICANA. Mexico: por la Viuda de D. Joseph Bernardo de Hogal, 1753. Small 4to (20.5 cm, 8.125").  ff., 58 pp., plus acrostic leaf. $3,700.00
Dr. H. de Leon-Portilla describes this book as a "breve compendio gramatical de prosodia y morfologia solamente. En los cinco capitulos en que está dividido el libro, el autor pasa revista a la fonetica, y las partes de la oracion." Of additional interest to scholars of colonial literature are the Latin epigram and a Spanish acrostic poem (both by Dr. Miguel José Moche, Vice-Rector of the Pontificio y Real Colegio Seminario, with the latter piece in the form of two concentric wheels) near the end of the preliminaries. Tapia Zenteno was not only an important Mexican linguist and professor of Mexican languages at the Royal University, but also a Comisario of the => Inquisition.
A work from the famous => Hogal press, this volume was produced under the supervision of => José Bernardo's widow, Rosa Teresa de Poveda, one of the famous "widow printers" of colonial Mexico. => The acrostic leaf is a marvelous display of innovative use of the compositor's case to stand in for the engraver's burin! But the preliminaries do sport a fine engraving, as well; this is of the coat of arms of Manuel Rubio Salinas, the archbishop of Mexico, and the work of Antonio Moreno.
Binding: Contemporary Mexican acid-stained sheep, gilt wave roll used to create spine compartments with gilt star in five of the compartments and a gilt red leather label in the sixth.
Provenance: Contemporary signature of José Mata on title-page; 19th- or early 20th-century stamp of the Redemptorist house in Cuernava: "Domus Cuernavacensis, C.SS.R."
Medina, Mexico, 142; H. de Leon Portilla, Tepuztlahcuilolli, 2693; Palau 327485; Sabin 94353; Garcia Icazbalceta, Lenguas, 74; Vinaza 334; Pilling, Proof-sheets, 3600. Not in Ugarte, Obras escritas en lenguas indigenas de Mexico. Bound as above with edges and joints rubbed, sides lightly scuffed, spine with label chipped and extremities pulled; text block skewed in binding. Modern paper at end to pad the binding where a second text was removed; new rear endpapers. Some captions and catchwords (more of the former) affected but never taken by the binder's knife, with some sidenotes touched also; acrostic leaf closely cropped at bottom, costing a small arc of the circle but nothing else. Foxing and staining, never severe but noteworthy in margins of four early leaves; light soiling. An early hand has inked indexing indicia in the margins of three pages, to aid in finding passages of interest. => Very good. (39574) Please RESHELVE This.
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