Holbein’s Dance of Death — HIS ALPHABET with “New” Borders
Holbein, Hans. L'alphabet de la mort de Hans Holbein entouré de bordures du XVIe siècle et suivi d'anciens poëmes français sur le sujet de trois mors et des trois vis publiés d'après les manuscrits par Anatole de Montaiglon. Paris: Edwin Tross, 1856. 8vo (21.8 cm, 8.625").  pp.; illus.
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Tross's careful and elegant 19th-century edition: The Dance of Death concept experienced a revival in French Romantic literature of the era and the main text here, in French and Latin, is prefaced by Anatole de Montaiglon's introduction (in French). The reproductions of Holbein's initials were done by Heinrich Loedel, and each page is given anexquisite death-themed, wood-engraved border by Léon le Maire after designs from a Book of Hours printed by Simon Vostre. The alphabet is represented (excluding J and U) by magnificent engraved historiated letters, five of which are repeated.
Binding: Chocolate brown morocco, covers framed and panelled in blind with gilt-tooled corner fleurons and gilt strapwork central medallions; spine with blind-ruled raised bands and gilt-stamped title and date and cover fleurons repeated in compartments; turn-ins with wide composite gilt rolls. All edges gilt; striking and distinctive marbled endpapers. Signed by binder L. Claessens with tiny stamp in roll on lower front turn-in.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Bound as above and in lovely condition; extremely minor spots of rubbing and scraping to boards, one raised band with a short cut(?) and a sliver of leather lost. An overall wonderful copy of this beautiful reprint. (37923)
“As Faithful Representations of the Originals as Can Well Nigh Be Conceived”
Holbein, Hans, illus. Icones Veteris Testamenti; illustrations of the Old Testament, engraved on wood, from designs by H. Holbein. London: William Pickering [Charles Whittingham], 1830. 8vo (20 cm, 7.875"). 14,  pp.; XC plts.
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First Pickering edition reproducing some of well-known 16th-century artist Holbein's early work. Following an introduction by woodcutter siblings Mary & John Byfield areninety different woodcuts depicting passages from the Old Testament, each with the English verse printed below and the text in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish on the following page. Keynes device no. iv appears on the title-page with device no. iii at the end.
Provenance: A small binder's ticket of Remnant & Edmonds of London appears at back with a small blue and white bookplate of book designer and typographer Lester Douglas on front pastedown; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Kelly, Checklist of Books Published by William Pickering, 1830.11; Keynes, Pickering, p. 72; Pickering & Chatto, William Pickering (catalogue 708), 173; NSTC 2H25927 & 2B30767. Quarter brown roan in imitation of morocco over red paper–covered boards, spine lettered and title framed in gilt; rubbed, spine sunned, spotting on endpapers. Light age-toning gently darkening towards edges with the rather occasional marginal spot or stain and one gathering loosening but firmly attached; uncut with a few unopened leaves, one témoin. Booklabels and binder's ticket as above, a small marginal check mark and number in pencil. A pleasing production with the perfect provenance. (39010)
The Collected Works of Erasmus, IncludingHis Greek New Testament
Erasmus, Desiderius. Desiderii Erasmi opera omnia in decem tomos distincta. Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: Pieter van der Aa, 1703–06. Folio extra (39.4 cm, 15.5"). 10 vols. in 11. I:  ff., 24,  pp., 1226 cols. (i.e., 1240); engr. t.-p., 1 double-pg. engr. plt. and 1 full-pg. engr. plt. II:  ff., 1212 cols., [5 4] pp. III(a):  ff., 1104 cols.; 18 full-pg. engr. plts. III(b):  ff., cols. 1105-944,  ff.; 2 full-pg. engr. plts. IV:  ff., 758 cols. (i.e., 768); 1 full-pg. engr. plt., 75 single-col. engr. vignettes (3.5" sq.), and 6 double-col. engr. vignettes (4.25" x 7.25"). V:  ff., 1360 cols. VI:  ff., 1126 cols.,  pp. VII:  ff., 1198 cols.,  p. VIII:  ff., 652 cols. IX:  ff., 1248 cols.; 1 fold-out plt., 1 full-pg. plt. X:  ff., cols. 1249–860,  ff.
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Before his death, Erasmus (1466–1536) divided his writings into nine ordines (categories) for posthumous publication. This is the second edition of his collected works, first published in nine volumes by Froben in 1540. Like the original, this set includes additions by authors from the Dutch humanist's international circle and portraits of the same, as well as myriad engravings after Holbein. The printer, Pieter van der Aa (1659–1733), was an apprentice of Daniel van Gaasbeeck (fl. 1655–92) and primarily known for maps and travel books.
The text in all volumes is in Latin with some Greek, printed in roman and italic, mostly double-column with sidenotes and many large woodcut initials and tailpieces, as well as some engraved headpieces. Vol. I has both a general title-page and a volume title-page; each of the volume title-pages is printed in red and black and features a large engraved vignette signed by the illustrator J. Goeree and the engraver J. Baptist; some volumes also have sectional title-pages. There are many engraved plates: vol. I features an added engraved title-page, a double-page plate, and one full-page plate; in vol. III, part one, there are18 full-page engraved portraits of contemporaries of Erasmus including Melanchthon, Alciatus, Charles V, and Bembo, as well as two more full-page portraits in vol. III, part two. In Praise of Folly, in vol. IV, is illustrated with75 single-column-width engraved vignettes (3.5" sq.) and six double-column-width engravings (4.25" x 7.25") after the famous Holbein originals, and a full-page engraved portrait of the artist. Vol. IX has one large engraved fold-out plate signed by van der Aa at Leiden, engraved by D. Stoopendael, as well as one full-page engraved plate, unsigned, of medallions against a drapery backdrop.
A handsome, BIG/TALL folio set.
Provenance: Most volumes have a large stamped “Y” on the front pastedown, and a faded18th-century ink inscription by a monk on the title-page.
All volumes in contemporary sheep recently rebacked and repaired using brown calf, spine with raised bands accented by gilt ruling with a blind ornament in each compartment, title and tome number gilt on green leather spine labels and date gilt collector-style on red leather labels at bases; marbled endpapers and red edges. Boards scuffed and chipped in places; all hinges (inside) repaired with later marbled paper. Ex- library: most volumes with bookplate and old-fashioned oval stamp on front pastedown, stamps on bottom edge and multiple leaves of text, early accession number to front free endpaper verso and bottom margin of first text leaf. In all volumes, some leaves very browned; occasional dampstaining, foxing, or other small stains from chemical reactions in paper; small natural paper flaws, short closed tears, and a few corners torn away not affecting text. One small tear in vol. IV repaired with monogrammed sticker!Tout entière, a nice set. (31801)
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