Publishers' Designs and Ornaments
Comedias sueltas present several challenges to the modern record. They were produced over a long period of time, in multiple editions, and by many different printers. Much of the data on these plays must be inferred. For instance, dates and publishers might be known only from typographic qualities and the ornamental markings used in printing.
Among the most helpful indicators of a suelta’s history are the decorative markings, or ornaments found on their pages. Apart from the visual flair that they add to otherwise flat text, ornaments serve as emblems of the craftsperson that applied them. In a suelta they are often found running horizontally under the character list or vertically between the columns of text. Woodcut ornaments, more prevalent in earlier eras of printing, were eventually overtaken by metal relief designs.
To the right you can see a variety of ornamental designs as represented in the collection.