First edition of this celebration book “of the utmost rarity”.
(Vinet, Bibliographie Méthodique et raisonnée des Beaux-arts, n° 722).
“There were several editions of this volume of the utmost rarity, omitted by Brunet. The first issue, published without date in 1585, is composed of 10 etchings by Hogenberg, with engraved text, in German verses, by Th. Gramjn. The second issue is composed of 36 engraved leaves. The third is the present one, published as a volume, with a German text, printed in mobile characters, and double plates printed inside the text.” Vinet.
Actually, both first issues are only booklets (10 plates for the first one, 36 leaves for the second one), only the third state offers a complete description of the celebrations and rejoicings of June 10th 1585 in Düsseldorf with 142 text leaves, a superb frontispiece and above all 37 engraved plates on double-page.
Are narrated: “Arrival in Düsseldorf, wedding ceremonies, wedding diner, ball, buffet, masquerade, jousts of fantasy animals on the Rhine, fight on the marketplace in Düsseldorf, here is what is depicted on the plates.
We will especially underline the 5th plate. It shows a dinner service in the 16th century, lord service with all the goldsmitheries and ornaments of the most peculiar taste; we will even mention the frontispiece, richly composed and in which the sacred and the secular are mixed or confronted together.” Vinet.
Exceptional copy which frontispiece and the 37 engraved plates on double-page have been contemporary hand-colored. The volume also includes a 38th engraved plate on double-page, in black.
The rarity of this book is proverbial. During the last 50 years only one complete copy in contemporary coloring appeared on the market, 46 years ago, in 1972.