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Decorated Initials

Decorated Initials

Workshops of Juan Pablos, Pedro Ocharte, and Pedro Balli.
Decorated Initials (Roman white letters over Biblical or ornamental decorations).
Woodcut. Approx. 25mm x 23mm (Grañen Porrúa 2010, 166-167). Documented in the following works: Alonso de Veracruz, Recognitio Sumularum[.] Ciudad de México: Juan Pablos, 1554 [Letters D, T (both shown here)] — Alonso de Veracruz, Speculum Coniugiorum. Ciudad de México, Juan Pablos, 1556 [Letters F, L, O, V, W (all five shown here)] — Maturino Gilberti. Arte de la lengua de Michuacan. Ciudad de México: Juan Pablos, 1558 [Letter I (shown here)] — Maturino Gilberti, Dialogo de doctrina christiana en lengua d[e] Mechuaca[n]. Ciudad de México: Juan Pablos, 1559 [Letter M, Y (both shown here)]. — Benito Fernández, Doctrina christiana en lengua mixteca. Ciudad de México: Pedro Ocharte, 1567 [Letters A, C, E, N, P, Q, S, X, Z (all shown here)] — Juan Baptista de Lagunas. Arte y diccionario […] en lengua michuacana. Ciudad de México: Pedro Balli, 1574 [Letter K (shown here)].
Antiguas Imprentas de Juan Pablos, Pedro Ocharte, and Pedro Balli.
Photo Source
John Carter Brown Library / HathiTrust Digital Library || University of California / HathiTrust Digital Library || Internet Archive || Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Oaxaca / HathiTrust Digital Library. Not reproduced at scale vis-à-vis the images of the impressions in 6066A.
Correspondence Credit
Buckingham-Rodríguez 1989 traces A, E, H, I, K, M, Y to the Grafton-Whitechurch 1549 and 1552 editions of the Book of Common Prayer. He also documents L in a 1584 publication by the London Workshop of John Wolfe. So all but the latter would be early enough to serve as a source for any of the publications, from 1554 on, by Pablos, Ocharte, or Balli mentioned above. Similarly, Yhmoff 1981-1982, 140-142 had observed that A, B, C, E, G, H, I, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, V were printed in Flemish publications between 1547 and 1567. Of these, however, only H, I, V appeared prior to 1554. And Garone Gravier 2009, 331 observes that C, D, E, H, I, L, N, P, O, S, Z constitute Series 46 of the Harvard 1974 catalog of Plantin ornamenal initials. But this series was not published by Plantin before 1571 in the Compendio Historial. Here we trace all these letters —except D, L, O, R — to letters appearing in works published by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitechurch between 1549 and 1552, thus predating all the publications by Pablos, Ocharte, and Balli mentioned above. This would be so even if these letters came from woodcuts or woodblocks imported from Flanders. Evidence that Flanders supplied typographic materials to England comes from Matthew's Bible, a bible in the English vernacular published in Antwerp 1537 and then sold in London (see 6056A/6056B). Evidence that England provided printed models to Mexico is the fact that Juan Pablos reproduced the title page of the Whitechurch Book of Common Prayer mentioned above (see 2253A/2253B). Although some of the Whitechurch and Grafton publications appeared between 1549 and 1552 —and hence after Pablos moved to Mexico— it is possible that Juan López Violero, an agent for Pablos, acquired copies of the Flemish/English woodblocks (or impressions thereof) during his sejourn in Seville between September 1550 and April 1551 (cf. Rodríguez-Buckingham 1985, 46-47Rodríguez Domínguez 2022, 136-137).
Archive: 6066A/6066B
Archive: 6066A/6066B
Archive: 6066A/6066B