Frankfurt, Feyerabend, 1584.
Small 4to [185 x 143 mm.] of (1) bl. l, (88) ll. with the title printed in red and black in a wide wood engraved border and 97 engravings most of the time printed on the front side of the ll. but sometimes also on the back side. Small tear in the white margin of l.12. Bound in full red 19th century morocco, triple gilt fillet on the covers, spine ribbed and finely decorated, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Binding signed by Trautz-Bauzonnet.
First edition, first issue of this extremely rare set of 97 beautiful woodcuts engraved by Jost Amman. Not in Brunet, not in Fairfax Murray.
« Extremely rare » (Note from the catalogue of the sale of Yemeniz, about this copy).
This suite is extremely detailed and shows riders in rich costumes, jousters, horses with their magnificent saddleries, knights in armor on richly caparisoned horses, and even women riding horses.
“A work under this title contains ninety-two pieces representing all sorts of riders, jousters, horses, women riding horses, etc… which have been printed again fifteen years after and attached to the collection described in the previous No. 3”. (A. Bartsch, Le peintre graveur, IX, n°5).
“This work contains 92 cuts of armed men and others on horseback, studies of horses, females on horseback, &c, which if I rightly understand Bartsch, were afterwards, in 1599, introduced into another collection” (W. Y. Ottley, Notices of engravers and their works, 1831, n°32).
“The talented artist Jost Amman (1539-1591) was lured to Nuremberg in 1561, the great city for graphics, because of the opportunities in the field of book illustrating. One of Nuremberg’s most successful book illustrators at the time was Virgil Solis (1514-1562). When Solis died from the plague in 1562, Amman took his position as the chief artist for the renowned printer and publisher Sigmund Feyerabend of Frankfurt (1528-1590). During his time with Feyerabend, Amman made many contributions to copper plate engraving and especially to the woodcut.”
A superb copy of this rare suite of engravings from the 16th century dedicated to riding and cavalry, which offers two different interests, aesthetic on one hand, thanks to the subtlety and details of its engravings, scientific on the other hand, with all the information it provides on the subject.
Provenance: Yemeniz copy with his engraved ex libris on the endpaper (sale in Paris in 1867, n° 3136, with the note “not quoted in Brunet’s Manuel and extremely rare”), another ex libris scratched out.
OCLC lists only 5 copies among all Institutions worldwide: 2 in Germany, 1 at the British Library, 1 at the Danish National Library and 1 at the Zentralbibliothek Zurich. No copy recorded in France.