(Argentorati [Strassburg]: Henricum Vogtherren, 1540). 195 x 138 mm. (7 5/8 x 5 3/8").  leaves. Second Printing in Latin.
Excellent retrospective modern brown crushed morocco tooled in blind, covers with concentric frames of plain rules and floral rolls, central panel divided into two squares decorated with dots and daisies, raised bands, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. In a fleece-lined maroon slipcase. Publisher's device on title page and 55 pages with 700 WOODCUT DESIGNS. Brunet III, 1114; Fairfax Murray German 428; Passavant III, 346 (5); VD16 ZV 30557. Title page a little soiled, D3 with two-inch brown stain, isolated rust spots, otherwise A FINE COPY, clean and fresh in an unworn binding.
This is a very rare early edition--in decidedly and atypically attractive condition--of the first printed model book for artists, originally published by Vogtherr in 1537-38 under the German title "Ein Frembds und Wunderbars Kunstbuchlin." The German edition had a brief preface, in which Vogtherr expressed concern for the state of fine arts in Germany, and offered these models as drawing exercises for artists. There is no letterpress in this edition; the 55 pages following the title contain anywhere from nine to 24 designs, including hands, feet, helmets, armor, quivers, swords, capitals and bases of columns, candelabra, escutcheons, and the heads of men and women in a variety of dress. Fairfax Murray observes that these are "all distinguished by beauty and originality, especially in regard to the female heads which show a great variety in the styles of dressing." Vogtherr (1490-1556) was an artist, printer, and poet who had studied art with Hans Burgkmair in Augsburg. He settled in Strassburg in 1526, where he operated a printing business with his son, Heinrich the Younger. This art book was a popular work, appearing in German (1537), Latin (1539), French (1540), Spanish (1541), and Dutch (1549) editions (the lack of letterpress making it easy to produce for various markets), and it continued to be reprinted into the 17th century. But because of the heavy use they almost always endured, copies of all these early editions have either been reduced to rubble or are now in sorry condition. Fairfax Murray lists the 1539-40 Latin printings as "extremely rare" and records bear him out: OCLC, COPAC, and KVK locate just two copies of the 1540 printing and five of the 1539 edition. Rare Book Hub finds four copies of the 1539 edition sold, the last in 1962, and neither RBH nor ABPC records a copy of the 1540 printing at auction. A copy in a modern binding of a 1538 edition sold most recently in 2013 for $32,500. (ST13848)
Add to Cart Price: $12,500.00
PJP Catalog: NY18BF.072