Exploring One of those “Lesser Paths” of History
“One Hundred Illustrations”
(An Emblem Book'y “Relative”). Larwood, Jacob, & John Camden Hotten. The history of signboards, from the earliest times to the present day... sixth edition. London: John Camden Hotten, 1867. 8vo (18.8 cm, 7.4"). Col. frontis., x, 536 pp.; 19 plts.
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Sixth edition (following its initial appearance in the previous
year) of this engaging account, full of anecdotes, historical digressions, and
literary quotations, as well as attempted analysis ofemblems
and their meanings (though this is not, of course, the classic “emblem
book”). “One hundred illustrations in fac-simile” are
attributed to Larwood on the title-page; the work features 19 plates, each depicting
an assortment of house- and pub-signs, as well as a hand-colored frontispiece
“Drawn by Experience . . . Engraved by Sorrow,” in which a cheerful
gin-drinking lady rides her woebegone, care-laden husband.
Title-page stamped by a private collector: “Thomas Witherell
Palmer, Log Cabin Park” (Detroit).
Contemporary half calf with marbled paper–covered sides,
spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and ornate gilt-stamped decorations
within compartments; binding with light to moderate rubbing overall, with
spine leather starting to show some cracking. All edges stained red. Delightful
reading and looking, and a delightful copy.
An Italian'sEMBLEMS in French with Engravings by a Dutchman
Ripa, Cesare. Iconologie, ou La science des emblemes, devises &c. Qui apprend à les expliquer, dessiner et inventer. Ouvrage tres utile aux orateurs, poëtes, peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, & generalement à toutes sortes de curieux des beaux arts et des sciences. A Amsterdam: Chez Adrian Braakman, 1698. Small 8vo. 2 vols. I: Engr. title-page,  ff., 264 pp., 29 plates. II: Engr. title-page,  f., pp. 265–550; 51 plates, [6 (ads)] ff.
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Ripa's Iconologia first appeared in 1593 in Italian, published at Rome and although unillustrated was an instant success with several subsequent editions and translations into German, Dutch, English, and French. The French is the work of Jean Baudoin (1590?–1650) and it first appeared in 1636. The80 leaves of engravings contain six emblems each and are restrikes/reengravings of those created by the Dutch painter and engraver Jacob de Bie for the first French edition.
This later French reissue proudly proclaims on the black and red title-pages that it is, “Enrichie & augmentée dun grandnombre de figures avec des moralités, tirées la pluspart de Cesar Ripa. Par J.B.”
Querard, 2/3, 324; Vinet 114; Brunet, Supplement, 485; Landwehr 687; Adams, Rawles, & Saunders, Bibliography of French Emblem Books, F510. Contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt spine extra, rubbed at corners and two spine tips; age-toned and otherwise the occasional spot or instance of light foxing only. A delightful little duo. (34958)
The Virtue of Mercy: Elaborately, Elegantly, EMBLEMATICALLY ILLUSTRATED
Roscius, Julius. Icones operum misericordiae cum Iulii Roscii Hortini Sententiis et explicationibu. Romae: Impensis Bartholomaei Grassii, incidebat Marius Cartarius [colophon: ex typographia Bartholomaei Bonfadini], 1586 [colophon: 1585]. Folio.  ff., 112 (i.e., 110) pp. (lacks final blank leaf only); illus. (2 engr. t-p and 15 plates).
Click the images for enlargements.
Sole edition of this famous, fascinating, and brilliantly illustrated instructional/devotional work on the virtue of mercy and its rewards. Divided into two parts, each with an engraved title-page but with continuous pagination and signature sequence, its main title-page was engraved by Cristoforo Cartaro, the son of Mario Cartaro, with border images depicting the seven corporal acts of mercy to be developed in theeight full-page engravings and text of the first part. The second title-page, engraved by Mario Cartaro, similarly offers seven border images, this time depicting the seven spiritual acts of mercy to be treated in the text and seven full-page engravings of the second part. The full-page engravings in both parts are by Mario and they, like the title-page presentations, are complicated, full of emblematic detail, and completely individual; to aid the contemplative or devoté, they incorporate suggestive/explanatory Biblical mottos and are accompanied by keys to their multiple meanings and teachings on the leaf opposite. The engravings of part I are modelled on Philippe Galle's Septem opera misericordiae corporalia.
Each page of text reposes within double-rule borders that contain references in an outer ruled column. Bonfadini'shedgehog device is found at the colophon, and the text is enlivened with woodcut head- and tailpieces and grotesque woodcut initials. This copy is further embellished withtwo unrelated Dutch 17th-century engravings used as pastedowns (!), being the frontispiece and a second plate from Jean Puget de La Serre's Mausolée érigé à la mémoire immortelle de très-haulte, très-puissante, et tres-auguste princesse Isabelle, Claire, Eugenie, d'Austriche, infante d'Espagne — who appears dressed, in these images as she is in some others, in the habit of a Poor Clare.)
Adams R780; Mortimer, Italian I6th Century Books, 446; EDIT16 CNCE 34634; Passavant, Peintre-graveur, VI:160.49; Cicognara, I, 351–52. Full calf with curious late 18th- or early 19th-century rebacking and overlay of marbled paper on sides making this appear at first blush to be a quarter calf binding; edges and corners of covers bumped and abraded through, exposing the underlying paste boards, with losses to paper revealing old acid-pitting to underlying leather. Dust-soiling in margins, occasional other stains; one plate holed, with old repair, taking lettering but not image. Far from an ideal copy, but stilla good and interesting one with the plates in good strong impressions and with those extra plates, priced (largely for its strong but strange binding) well below a “fine” copy. (36854)
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