Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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London, United Kingdom
DoneWed, Nov 15, 2006 12:00 PM GMT

Books from Collection of John Landwehr

This is a rare opportunity to acquire emblematic gems from the collection of the leading bibliographer in the field. Examples are taken from the birth of the emblem book at the beginning of the sixteenth century through to the close of the eighteenth century and are drawn mainly from the Low Countries but also include France, Germany, Italy and England.

Authors and engravers represented include Andrea Alciati, Jacob Cats, Jan van de Velde, Crispijn de Passe, Claude Paradin, Jan Luyken, Matthaeas Merian and Cesare Ripa. Included in the collection is Geoffrey Whitney’s A Choice of Emblemes, and Other Devises, 1586, the first emblem book in English estimated at £10,000-15,000.

For those unfamiliar, an emblem book contains individual emblems designed to teach or moralise. Each emblem consists of three parts, usually identified by their latin name:
Inscriptio – the short motto or quotation that is printed above the picture
Pictura – the allegorical picture itself
Subscriptio – the prose or verse written beneath the pictura to explain the picture’s moral application to everyday life