Full Calf. Card stock slipcase.
1768 · Wellrichstait (?), Germany
by Stark, Joseph
Wellrichstait (?), Germany , 1768. Full Calf. Card stock slipcase. . Very Good. As fine a folk art Gebetbuch manuscript as one is bound to find, with its artist's identity given and precisely dated to the mid-eigtheenth century. 12mo. 16 by 10 cm. Three title pages, two frontises, 213 pages paginated. 21 pages which are fully painted, or essentially so, with many other pages with substantial illustration, including ornate decorative motives, painted cameos, etc. The style is peasant Rococo, with seraphs and human figures striking the various graceful postures that characterize Rococo paintings of the most august type. Generally the human visages are done with a naivete that may speak of the artistic limitation of the artist but which redounds with charm to us. And more substantively, these renderings convey to us a more vernacular understanding of the religious stories, or put another way, these pictures come closer to how the ordinary man would have conceived of the high spots of religious drama. The text is done in a variety of scripts, from a neat, refined Gothic Fraktur, which tends to be legible and accessible to us, to two different styles of cursive, one legible, the other, more inscrutable. Even when legible, though, the text is written in an eighteenth century German that was far more elastic about such things as spelling and so the writing is likely to strike an alien chord with the modern reader. But this is of minor import given that it is the artwork, both the plates and other decoration, and the stabs at calligraphy, that are bound to excite interest now. The full calf binding completes the package, as it is a contemporary binding, with an onlay red heart centerpiece on both the front and rear boards. Condition: binding with considerable wear. Age toning, occasional soiling, some light creasing to the leaves within. One leaf (210) with surface lifting of the paper. Slipcase with moderate wear. Slot on side suggests there was once a strap clasp, now gone.
(Inventory #: 006592)