San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Real Biblioteca del Monasterio, T.I.6

Alfonso X The Wise's Book of Chess, Dice and Board Games Facsimile Edition

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A richly illustrated manuscript

"El libro del axedrez dados et tablas", by Alfonso X "The Wise", completed in 1283, a year before the death of the King, was carried out on parchment with a format of 28 x 40 cm. It is written and illustrated in colour and with gold leaf, with a profusion of scenes. In total, due to there being some pages without illustration, there are 150 miniatures in a good state of conservation.

Paradigm of Alfonso X’s cultural work, the 150 drawings in the Book of Chess, Dice and Board Games are one of the most important testimonies of this king’s court painting, both in their iconographic and stylistic characteristics and in the court context and the hermetic culture they reveal: a monument of symbolic hermetic literature of the era, turned by means of game into the genuine transmitter of knowledge who travel from the far East and are lost bit by bit in each transmission.

One of the most beautiful miniatures shows some dice players in a garden in Seville (?) with a cypress tree, a palm tree and an orange tree in folio 71v. This time the figures stand out on the background as it happens in the miniatures of the Rich Code of Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Excellent and unique piece of work in its gender and in the history of chess, completed seven hundred years ago, it documentally introduces the game of chess into Europe and confers it the range corresponding to a game of kings and noble and intelligent people.

We have 2 facsimiles of the manuscript "Alfonso X The Wise's Book of Chess, Dice and Board Games":

#1 Libro de los Juegos de Ajedrez, Dados y Tablas de Alfonso X el Sabio (Parchment Facsimile)

Valencia: Scriptorium, 2010

  • Commentary (English, Spanish) by González Jiménez, M.; López de Guereño Sanz, M.T.; Fernández, L.; Bordons Alba, C.
  • Limited Edition: 430 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).
Unique and exclusive edition in natural sheepskin parchment.

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#2 Alfonso X el Sabio - Libro de los Juegos, de Ajedrez, Dados y Tablas

Valencia: Vicent Garcia Editores, 1987

  • Commentary (English, Spanish) by Gómez de Pablos, Manuel D.; Vázquez de Parga, Luis; Domínguez Rodríguez, Ana; Calvo, Ricardo; Crombach, Mechthild
  • Limited Edition: 2000 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

The first complete facsimile and colour edition, accompanied by a complementary volume in which historic, artistic and chess studies are featured, besides the complete transcription of the text, all this by prestigious professors and academics.

Specially made paper aged, imitating vellum. Presentation case including facsimile and study.

Realized for Ediciones Poniente (Madrid) by Vicent GarcÍa Editores and distributed by Edilan.

Binding

Hand dyed goatskin.

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