Engaged in intensifying the memory of the most significant codices, books and documents on the cultural past of mankind, Siloé started in 1997 and, as indicated in its subtitle, it focuses on the field of arts and high bibliophile by carrying out handicraft tasks and laborious facsimile editions which have reached a hardly surmountable level of perfection. It has gradually acquired a higher and better-known significance in the publishing sphere in Spain, as well as in Europe and in the world.
At a first moment, SILOÉ concentrated on transcendental codices and documents guarded in Burgos and province. As a result, there are facsimile editions of noteworthy works such as:
- El Bestiario de Don Juan de Austria (Monasterio de la Vid, Burgos). Único bestiario del mundo en español, y que debido al enorme éxito de crítica y ventas tenemos ya desde hace tiempo agotado.
- La Carta de Arras de El Cid y Doña Jimena (Catedral de Burgos). Uno de los escasos documentos cidianos que existen.
- El Libro de los Caballeros de la Cofradía de Santiago (Catedral de Burgos). El armorial ecuestre más antiguo de Europa y gran joya de la heráldica mundial y que igualmente, gracias a su importancia y belleza, está ya muy próximo a agotarse.
- La Regla de Nuestra Señora de la Creaçón (Catedral de Burgos). El códice más importante del archivo de la Catedral de Burgos.
- El Liber Chronicarum (Monasterio de la Vid, Burgos). El incunable de los incunables y pieza clave de la historia del libro y de la imprenta.
- La Biblia Románica de Burgos (Biblioteca Pública del Estado, en Burgos). Joya de la miniatura románica europea.
In 2004, SILOÉ embarked on one of the most ambitious and distinguished projects in the sphere of the facsimile: The reproduction of the 7 volumes which make up the Historia Naturalis , by the great Polish, but of Scottish origin, erudite Johannes Jonstonus: De Avibus, De Quadrupedibus, De Exanguibus Acuaticis et Serpentibus, de Piscibus et Cetis, De Insectis, and finally, De Arboribus et Fructicibus (2 vols.) The collection also stands out for the magnificent exquisiteness of its superb engravings by Merian, the so-celebrated family of Swiss engravers. This is the last great Encyclopaedia of the Renaissance.
It is also remarkable the collection which, under the chapter of Librería Rara has included so far five titles which are really curious: El Libro de las Máscaras, El Tractatus de Ludo Scacorum, El Libro de Setas, Los Mapas de Heinrich Bünting y Le Jardinet de l’Âme.
During these fifteen years of venture, SILOÉ has obtained reproducing authorizations from important national, as well as European, institutions and libraries. It is important to point out works like «Le Petit» Ptolomeo, The Book of the World Wonders, The Book of Hours of Louis de Laval o King René’s Tournament Book which belong to the collection of the National Library of France. In the National Library of Austria, for its part, it is guarded the Atlas of Pedro Texeira, considered by many to be the most important Spanish cartographic project in the 17th century. Within the national territory, more exactly in the city of Zaragoza, it is found the original copies of The Book of Hours of the Aescolapius and The Book of Hours of the Bishop Fonseca, at the college of Escuelas Pias and at the Royal Seminary of St. Charles respectively.
Special mention should be made of the Beatos. Considered as the most valued and studied medieval manuscripts in the peninsula, SILOÉ has reproduced the oldest one, the Beato «Emilianense» of the National Library (Madrid. Vit. 14-1) and the smallest format one, the Beato of the Corsinian Library (Roma). Now, in the chapter of the Beatos, we can do no other than to earnestly draw the reader’s attention about the extraordinary news about the recent and surprising finding of a new copy of that “saga” of codices in Geneva. It has been lately one of the most important cultural news. The field of bibliophile is holding a celebration for such a fabulous discovery: THE BEATO OF GENEVA. SILOÉ is already working in order to carry out the clearest facsimile reproduction.
We must emphasise the extraordinary importance of the above mentioned Book of Hours of Louis de Laval, of which we can state unequivocally that it is the most extraordinary Book of Hours ever and one of the fewest codices which have the privilege to belong to the exceptional scope of the Grande Réserve of the National Library of France, which constitutes a kind of world, heritage in a book format..
Finally, it is important to stress the last but not less important three projects in which SILOÉ has just embarked on. It is the facsimile edition of Valpuesta Cartulary, hailed by experts as the oldest Hispanic document in which appear the first expressions of the still spluttering Castillian Romance, prevailing over the no less famous Glosas Emilianenses which was traditionally considered the first and slightest trace of our language. The second of these projects is the Westminster Abbey Bestiary, one of the finest medieval bestiaries which has also taken its place in the library of that luxurious and famous abbey in London. And the third one, which is sadly front page, is nothing other than the facsimile edition of a magnificent copy of the Codex Calixtinus kept in this case at the Library of the University of Salamanca. The sad news of the robbery of the Compostellan copy compels us to speed up the preparations of this edition, so important from different viewpoints.
Siloé, arte y bibliofilia.
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