, Hans Holbein (illus.)

Price: $15,000.00

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Lyons: M. and G. Trechsel [for J. and F. Frellon], . First Edition Small quarto (5" x 6-1/2") bound in 19th-century English diced russia leather, tooled in blind, marbled endpapers and edges; 94 pages + colophon with blank verso. Housed in a modern green cloth slipcase. Illustrated with Treschel device on the title page and 92 woodcuts by Hans Lützelberger and others after Holbein. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (with Judith rather than Job depicted on I2) of Holbein's influential illustrations for the Old Testament. With this publication "Bible illustration at Lyons changed significantly" (Mortimer). The set was re-used in Bibles by the same publishers and copied widely at Paris, Zurich, Antwerp, and elsewhere. The first four smaller blocks are from Holbein's Dance of Death series, published the same year; the remaining blocks are of Old Testament subjects. Holbein showed supreme skill at placing grand spiritual narrative within a compact domestic setting, thereby challenging the popularity of classical themes. The preface by François Frellon on the title page verso urges the reader to reject the images of goddesses such as Venus and Diana in favor of the "sacrosanctas Icones." Brunet III, 252: "Ces planches en bois ... ont été gravées avec beaucoup de délicatesse, d'après des dessins, en tout ou en partie de la main de Hans Holbein: les exemplaires en sont fort rares"; Graesse, page 317; Mortimer, FRENCH SIXTEENTH CENTURY BOOKS, 276. Stamp removed from title verso, G4 and H1 reversed in binding, light soiling. Near Fine and very scarce (Item ID: 016962)

Provenance: Otto Schaefer (monogram stamp at end; sale, Sotheby's NY, 1 November 1995, lot 114).


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