1628 · Antuerpiae
Painstakingly pirated version of one of the most influential of the Dutch emblem books and => one of the most charming, with Hugo's morals, written in a combination of Latin verse and prose, accompanying => 46 full-page woodcut illustrations by Christopher van Sichem (numbered 0–45), each with a Bible quotation below. The Jesuit author (1588–1629) designed this devotional volume to follow the three stages of mystical life and meditation: purification (here, Book I: "Gemitus animae poenitentis"), illumination (II: "Vota animae sanctae"), and union (III: "Suspiria animae amantis").
Amsterdam publisher P.I. Paets commissioned the woodcuts, done after the copper engravings by Boetius a Bolswert for the 1624 first edition, later using or sharing them least three more times. Additionally, the volume offers a fine woodcut illustrated title-page, the woodcut coat of arms of Urban VIII, three sectional woodcut architectural title-pages, and in-text woodcut initials and tailpieces.
Binding: 18th-century brown morocco, spine with gilt title-label, raised bands accented with gilt hashing, and compartments containing gilt daisy stamps, corner ornaments, and ruling; covers framed in gilt triple fillets, board edges with gilt zigzag roll. Marbled endapers, all edges marbled, blue ribbon place marker.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear; evidence of removed bookplate on front pastedown and very faded word in an early hand on title-page margin.
DeBacker-Sommervogel, IV, 513; Landwehr, Emblem & Fable Books Printed in the Low Countries (3rd ed.), 346; Corpus librorum emblematum, Jesuit series, J.631; Emblem Books at the University of Illinois, H56. Bound as above, binding gently rubbed with a few small spots, one small wormhole and a leather repair, pencilling on endpapers. Light age-toning and limited, light to moderate all-marginal waterstaining throughout, a smattering of spots. Provenance marks as above. => Plates as fresh and engaging as the day they were produced. (Inventory #: 38273)