Four Large Folio Volumes with More than 450 Fine Engravings Of the Ecclesiastical and "Profane" in 18th Century Brabant


(The Hague: Chrétien van Lom; Gerard Block, 1730, 1734). 480 x 292 mm. (18 3/4 x 11 1/2"). Two separately issued but related works in four volumes. First Edition in French of the first work; Second Edition in French of the second work.

Contemporary polished calf, gilt, covers with plain rule and dogtooth roll border, raised bands, spine compartments with large floral ornament at center, scrolling cornerpieces, one tan and one black morocco label, marbled endpapers. FIRST WORK WITH four engraved plates of arms, one plate of coins, and 188 VIEWS AND PLANS on 67 sheets; SECOND WORK WITH two double-page maps, five engravings in the text, and 271 ENGRAVED PLATES (21 of these portraits, the others views, plans, buildings, altars, and memorials, 74 of the plates double-page). Brunet II, 1699. Joints rubbed, with two short and one longer crack, but the unrestored contemporary bindings completely solid, with lustrous leather and gilt, and quite pleasing on the shelf. A few leaves faintly yellowed, other minor defects, but A FINE COPY INTERNALLY, clean and fresh throughout, with especially bright, extraordinarily rich engravings.

This is a stately and (atypically) complete copy of a lavishly illustrated work documenting the impressive secular and ecclesiastical architecture of the Duchy of Brabant; there are not only a profusion of engravings and maps, but they show few signs of the avid viewership that most copies would have been subjected to over the years. At the time of printing, Brabant was divided between the Dutch Republic in the north and the Austrian Habsburg Empire in the South; today, all of the territory except the Dutch province of North Brabant is part of Belgium. The "Profane" engravings include plans and panoramic views of cities and towns, while the "Sacré" volumes, first issued in 1729, show not only church and monastic architecture, but details of tombs, memorial plaques, and epitaphs, along with portraits of the bishops of the dioceses of the duchy. The engravings have the crystalline purity of line that set apart the topographical works of Merian a century or so earlier. Many copies of these works were broken apart to harvest the attractive, richly detailed engravings, making complete sets of both works in contemporary bindings, as here, especially desirable.

Price: $12,500.00