Lot 237: Rare complete copy of one of the greatest costume books (1581)

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

June 19, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands

More About this Item

Description: MISCELLANEA - COSTUME - [BOISSARD, Jean Jacques]. Habitus variarum orbis gentium. Habitz de nations estranges. Trachten mancherley Völker des Erdskreysz. Cum privilegio et regio. [Cologne, Caspar Rutz], 1581. Oblong folio. 19th century half vellum over marbled boards (sl. scratched) with gold-tooled spine title, all edges mottled. Some scattered inscriptions on front pastedown and on the reverse of the title. With engraved title page, engraved portrait of the author (with a cut out woodcut panorama of München, not belonging to the edition, folded and mounted on the reverse to protect the upper edge of the text block!), engraved portraits of dedicatees Nicole and Louise de Vienne and 67 engraved costume plates. Free endpapers missing, partly (water)stained/foxed (incl. title), margins sl. worn (some restored), plate 61 restored with small loss of image. Complete. Rare. (5) f., (67) pl.
Literature: Lipperheide 14; Colas 366; Index Aurelianus 121.322; Marie F. Viallon (ed.), Paraître et se vêtir au XVIe siècle (Actes du XIIIe Colloque du Puy-en-Velay, 2005). Saint-Étienne, Publ. de l'Univ., 2006
Provenance: Simon Emmering
Trilingual edition, in Latin, in French and in German; Latin captions in the image, others below. Introduction by Rutz in Latin, dedication in French, the introduction in German translation, the Boissard page in Latin, next a sonnet in French by Jan de Gardesy and two quatrains in Latin(!). Fol. 1-5: fol. 1: engraved title flanked by four allegorical figures of women representing the continents: Europe, Africa, Asia and America, surmounted by a pediment (verso blank, as all versos); fol. 2: the ‘Ad lectorem’ (Introduction in Latin) by the editor Caspar Rutz Mechliniensis, written in Cologne; the dedication by Jean Jacques Boissard to the ‘Damoiselles Nicole et Loyse de Vienne’, daughters of Claude Antoine de Vienne, seigneur de Clervant, Copet etc., and a laudatory poem of 14 verses to the same daughters Nicole and Louise; fol. 3: the introduction by Caspar Rutz translated in German: ‘Caspar Rutz vonn Mechlen. Zu dem Leser’; fol. 4: oval portrait of Jean Jacques Boissard (1528-1602) when he was 50, half-length, in profile to the right, engraved by Nicolaus Lassaeus (Lasse), with a Latin poem of four lines by Petrus Lepidus underneath (156x104 mm.), flanked by two poems in letterpress (one in Greek, and one by Boissard’s friend the Neo-Latin poet Laelius Cleopassus). The age is headed by the title ‘In effigiem Joannis Jacobi Boissardi Vesuntini’ (from Besançon); fol. 5: two engraved portraits of the dedicatees Nicole and Louise Vienne in roundels (ø 89 mm.) and three laudatory poems by Jan de Gardesius Montalbanois (Jaen de Gardesy) in letterpress: one in French to Jan Jacques Boissard and two in Latin to the dedicatees. The 67 plates are partly numbered by hand and include 6 additional plates, suggesting a complicated production process. Colas even supposes that there must have been ‘a tirage avant les numéros?’. The order in which the plates appear in our copy: 1-5, 6, 6, 6, 7-20, 20B, 21, 21-25, 25B, 26-43, 45, 44, 46-53, 55-60, 54, 61 (or, summarized: 1-61 + 5(bis), 6(bis), 6(ter), 20B, 21(bis), 25B). This is exactly the same numbering as in Lipperheide, as well as the copy in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, and surely the original order and complete content of the edition). Apart from plates 1: the Dux Venetis and the Ducissa Veneta flanking a throne, 5(bis): a gondola with two oarsmen and two women, and 20B: a woman from Naples in a sedan chair carried by two men, all the other plates are showing 3 standing figures (men or women) in costumes typical for the city or region they live in: Venice (22), Padua (6), Vicenza (3), Rome (6), Siena (3), Florence (3), Milan (2), Bologna (4), Pavia (2), Ferrara (4), Ancona (3), Mantua (3), Naples (7), Ischia (3), Pisa (3), Sicily (Catania, Ragusa) (3), Calabria (3), Bayern (Augsburg, Schwaben) (4), Switserland (2), France (Lorraine, Verdun, Metz, Besançon, Burgundy) (27), Flanders (3), Greece and Albania (9), Turkey, Armenia (15), Syria (4), Middle East, Levant (13), Arabia (5), North Africa, Barbaria (17). As stated by Caspar Rutz in his introduction (fol.2), the designs and drawings of the plates are made by Jean Jacques Boissard (1528-1602), a draughtsman and poet from Besançon who, after having been converted to Protestantism in 1555, made many journeys to Italy where he stayed in Rome during the years 1558-1559 before returning to Besançon. In 1560 he was engaged in Metz by Claude Antoine de Vienne, baron of Clervant, lord of Coppet, etc. (1534?-1588), the protestant companion, conseiller et chef militaire of the future Henri IV, as a teacher to his daughters Nicole and Louise, the dedicatees of this edition. Caspar Rutz continues by saying that he has edited these drawings after he had them brought into copper by his engravers. There is only one plate, however, that is signed: by Julius Goltzius, son of Hubrecht Goltzius (not of Hendrick) and brother of Scipio, active in Antwerp – for many years in the service of Plantin – between 1575 and 1595; the engraving is also dated: 1581. Caspar Rutz was born in Malines and was an artist, printmaker and publisher who was active from 1567 till 1588, first in Malines but from 1569 onwards in Cologne. In the literature the place of printing of our edition is often – mistakenly – considered to be Malines. Although the 50 plates of Abraham de Bruyn’s Omnium poene gentium imagines, published in Cologne, Rutus, 1577 (Hollstein IV, 248-306; Colas 472; Lipperheide 9) may have had a certain impact on the engravings of our edition, Abraham de Bruyn (1540?-1587) sometimes is – also mistakenly – mentioned as a contributor to, or even author of our edition. This misunderstanding is strongly enhanced by the fact that a second edition of De Bruyn’s work was published in Cologne in the same year as our edition, 1581, with the same number of costume plates (61, including the plates of the first edition), under the title Omnium pene Europa, Asiae, Africae atque Americae gentium habitus (Colas 473). In the same year also an edition was published by Michel Colijn in Antwerp (Colas 474); a third (fourth) edition with 75 plates followed in ca. 1610, also with Michel Colijn as the publisher, in Antwerp (Colas 474; Lipperheide 12). The plates in these Abraham de Bruyn editions, containing four figures each, have, however, nothing directly to do with the plates in our edition.
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