Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la Secretaria de Fomento, `885. First edition, a work that provides an etymology of place names in the Nahuatl language and an analysis of the gylphs from the Codex Mendoza. Color atlas at rear with title-page and thirty-nine plates; numerous woodcut hieroglyphs in the Nahuatl language from the Codex Mendoza. Title page printed in black and red. Binding extremities lightly rubbed, some wear to corners. Spine slightly toned. Leaves slightly browned, the occasional minor smudge, slight offsetting from plates. Contemporary ink presentation inscription on half-title. A very good copy. Original quarter red calf over marbled boards, gilt spine in five compartments. Folio. . 260, [1, index], [1, blank], [2, errata] pp. Item #16545
Dr. Antonio Peñafiel (1830-1922) completed a degree in medicine and worked at the Military Hospital of San Lucas in Mexico City. There, he participated in campaigns with General Ignacio Zaragosa against the French troops who tried to defend Maximiliano de Habsburgo, the emperor of Mexico. In 1867, Peñafiel settled in the capital state of Hidalgo, where he was a professor at the Scientific and Literary Institute. He was the founder of the Natural History Society of Mexico and a member of a number of societies dedicated to the cultivation of human and social sciences. Peñafiel authored a number of works, including Monumentos del Arte Mexico Antiguo (1890) and Nomenclatura Geografica de Mexico (1897). The Codex Mendoza is a sixteenth-century Aztec manuscript, which was created in Mexico City several years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico for Charles V (1500-1558), the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. It is named after Don Antonio de Mendoza, who is thought to have commissioned it. The codex was sent by ship to Spain, but the fleet was attacked in route by French privateers; the codex, along with the rest of the plundered items, was then taken to France. It is currently housed at the Bodleian Library.