(Amsterdam: W. Goeree, 1682-3). 162 x 100 mm. (6 3/8 x 4"). Three volumes.
Inoffensive 18th century brown speckled calf, raised bands, brown morocco labels, compartments with gilt tooling and lettering, all edges gilt (first volume expertly rebacked, preserving the original backstrip, heads and tails of spines also repaired). With three frontispieces and 45 ENGRAVED PLATES, ALL BUT ONE HAND-COLORED AND MOST HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, QUITE POSSIBLY BY VAN SANTEN, more than half the plates folding and/or double page, and one plate with a moveable flap. See: Truusje Goedings, "'Master Colourist' Dirk Jansz van Santen" (Amsterdam, 1992). Joints of second and third volumes a touch tender but quite secure, corners and extremities a little rubbed, tail of one spine with a bit of loss, general mild wear externally, but INTERNALLY FINE with just the occasional small, light stain or kiss of foxing, the coloring extremely bright and well-preserved.
This is an extraordinarily fine copy of a popular account of "The Hebrew Republic," complete, extensively illustrated, and with splendid contemporary hand coloring, probably executed by the renowned "master colourist" Dirk Jansz Van Santen. Originally published in 1617 in Latin by Dutch historian of Christianity Petrus Cunaeus (i.e., Peter van der Kun, 1586-1638), the work forms a vision of a highly organized society with an idealized infrastructure and political system. Though Cunaeus' idea of the Hebrew state was in part embellished and imagined, it nonetheless described an important model of republican governance for the federation of provinces that formed the Dutch Republic of the 17th century. The present Dutch edition contains numerous maps of ancient Hebrew lands, as well as plates depicting rituals, architecture, military organization, and religious dress, all of which are brought to life with hand coloring of the highest quality. Though the plates are unsigned by the colorist (as is almost always the case during this period), the style and technique conforms very closely to the work of Van Santen (1637/38-1708), one of the most famous and sought-after colorists of the Dutch Golden Age. Although he was especially known for his extensive and delicate use of gold, Van Santen's work can also be recognized by his bold use of saturated color alongside lighter washes (adding depth and variety to the image), his use of patterning on buildings and garments, and the characteristic multi-colored lines used to illuminate borderlines in maps. Furthermore, scholars have noted a connection between Van Santen and Willem Goeree (the publisher of the present work), with whom the colorist seems to have had an ongoing working relationship. The exquisite coloring present in this copy is an especially nice feature rarely found in any edition of this book, and as such must have been executed for an owner who both deeply valued this work and could afford such luxury. Although this book is not uncommon on the market in its various editions and translations, it is almost always found with plates lacking and in unpleasant condition. The present copy is a rare exception, being clean, bright, and with all plates present, not to mention in opulent contemporary color. (ST14407)
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PJP Catalog: NY19BF.045