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 Antiquities of Mexico by Lord Edward Kingsborough

Lord Edward  Kingsborough  (1795–1837)

Lord Edward Kingsborough was born in 1795, he was the firstborn heir to an Irish Earl. He was a wealthy student at Oxford University.  After graduation he was elected to the House of Commons. He did not seek re- election. He became fascinated by Bodley Codex in the Oxford Library and became convinced that ancient Mexicans descended from “Lost Tribes of Israel.”  He was introduced by the bibliophile Sir Thomas Phillipps to Bodley's librarian Bulkeley Bandinel, who showed him the great Mexican manuscript the Codex Mendoza in the Bodleian Library. Kingsborough  after seeing the Codex manuscript he devoted his life to the study of the antiquities of Mexico. He employed Italian painter Augustine Aglio to visit national and royal libraries throughout Europe in search of Mexican manuscripts, which Aglio then sketched and later lithographed for publication. 
Lord Kingsborough spent his life trying to prove the Jewish origin of Mexicans. He compiled texts, manuscripts, and hundreds of engravings. He also accumulated explanations and interpretations of the Mayan codexes Mendicino, Telleriano-Remensis, and the Vatican codex. Lord Kingsborough devoted his time and wealth to publishing Antiquities of Mexico (9 vols.) from 1831-1848. In his work he reproduced the History of the Things of New Spain, by Bernardino de Sahagun; the Mexican Chronicle, by Fernando de Alvarado Tezozomoc; the Chichimeca History by Fernando de Alva Ixtilxochchitl, as well as many others. 

Lord Edward Kingsborough published nine books, copies, facsimile reproductions of Mesoamerican, Maya, Mixtec, & Aztec codices, historical accounts of explorers’ descriptions of archaeological ruin & documents of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.
“In 1831, Lord Kingsborough published the first volume of Antiquities of Mexico, a collection of copies of various Mesoamerican codices, including the first complete publication of the Dresden Codex.   Antiquities of Mexico is a compilation of facsimile reproductions of Mesoamerican literature such as Maya codices, Mixtec codices, and Aztec codices as well as historical accounts and explorers' descriptions of archaeological ruins. While much of the material pertains to pre-Columbian cultures, there are also documents relevant to studies of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Kingsborough commissioned the Italian landscape painter Agostino Aglio to furnish the reproduction drawings and lithographs of the Mesoamerican artworks and codices used to illustrate the volumes.
Agostino Aglio spent the better part of six years traveling to the libraries and museums of Europe to examine and draw all of the "Ancient Mexican" documents, artifacts and manuscripts known in European collections of the time.  Many of the facsimiles of codices are hand-colored.” 
Kingsborough compiled this information into a 9 Volume set of books weighing 200 lb.  Each book is roughly two feet spuare with hunders of pages of text and magnificent illustrations in color and black-and-white.
The set took 18 years to produce and the cost of £40,000, [$52,600.00], which was a truly enormous sum in terms of the currency of the time, when a family could live quite well on £500, [$657.00], a year.

Even in the...1840’s...Kingsborough’s works had not reached America." 
Perhaps a reason for this was the retail price of $1,350.00 which in 1848 was a very hefty sum….”  (Some of the above Information is from Wikipedia Encyclopedia)

Antiquities of Mexico : comprising fac-similes of Ancient Mexican Paintings and Hierogliphics, preserved in the Royal Libraries of Paris, Berlin and Dresden; in the Imperial Library of Vienna; in the Vatican Library; in the Borgian Museum at Rome; and a few other Librarys.

 Antiquities of Mexico

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 1

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 2

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 3

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 4

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 5

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 6

Antiquities of Mexico Vol. 7


Excerpts (Olivers' Bookshelf)