[London, c. 1817]
Oblong folio [355 x 256 mm] of: I/ 1 engraved frontispiece, 102 numbered plates, II/ 1 engraved frontispiece, 5 plates numbered from 2 to 6. 1st bl. l. cut. Bound in full green vellum, double fillet stamped on the covers, flat spine restored. Contemporary binding.
The rare and beautiful hunting and fishing book by Stradanus illustrated with 107 plates in fine contemporary coloring. Schwerdt, II, p. 228.
The first edition of this series was published in Antwerp by Philippe Galle in 1578. Our edition offers a new issue of this admirable hunting book, realized in 1817 in London. This reissue of 102 original engravings, on Whatman paper, presents the same characteristics than the 1578 edition: each plate bears a Latin caption of two or four lines and the inscription “Stradanus invent”. Only differs the dedication to the Duke Cosimo de’ Medici which doesn’t appear on the frontispiece.
“A later issue was published with engraved frontispiece and 102 pls (out of the 104 pls. of the first edition).” (Schwerdt).
Jan van der Straet (1523-1605), better known as Stradanus, worked most of his life in Italy as an engraver and designer for the tapestry workshops. From 1553 to 1571, he was in service to Cosimo I de’ Medici, he tackled the creation of hunting and fishing representations meant to decorate the palace of Poggio a Caiano. The Venationes commemorate the tapestries executed by Stradan and showing the traditional hunting methods of the Renaissance.
The present collection is composed of an engraved title and 102 wonderful plates dedicated to hunting superbly painted in gouache at the time. The hunts represented take place on various continents, with animals as exotic as leopard, elephants but also other types of hunts more traditional like the hunting with hounds, the pigeon hunt, the rabbiting… The hunting scenes are also of the mythological type, dragons, water monsters are driven on the land and on the sea.
“The engravers of this fine work are Jean Collaert, Charles de Mallery, Corneille Galle, Théodore Galle, Adrien Collaert.” (Menessier de la Lance, Essai de Bibliographie hippique, p. 583).
“After pl. 102 is included ‛Vermis Sericus’, a series including an engraved frontispiece containing 4 vignettes illustrating the development of the silkworm from the month of May to August, and 5 other plates.” (Schwerdt).
A very fine copy in outstanding coloring preserved in its contemporary green vellum binding.