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Illustrated German Reynard in richly blind-tooled binding dated 1603

[REYNARD].
Reyneke Vosz de olde, nye gedrucket, mit sidlykem vorstande unde schonen figuren, erlüchtet unde vorbetert.
(Colophon: Rostock, Stephan Mölleman for Laurentz Albrechts, in Lübeck), 1592. Small 4to (20 x 16 cm). With letterpress title printed in red and black in an illustrated woodcut border (partly coloured in an early hand), and 53 small woodcut costume-figures and 44 large woodcut illustrations in text. Blind-tooled vellum (dated 1603), with central oval ornament and the letters "MEL" and "IPR" and the numbers "16" and "03".
€ 7,250
Rostock-Lübeck edition of the phenomenal animal epic Reynard the Fox. The Reynard stories were already established as a coherent collection in the 12th century and were first printed in 1479, in a Dutch prose edition. A lot of variation exists between the Reynard stories, but the Dutch tradition, starting with the very well regarded and highly original adaptation by Willem, is the most dominant. The main story takes place in the court of a lion king, where all the other animal subjects complain to the monarch about Reynard's trickery, which leaves room for each animal to tell a story about the fox his wits, and cunning and criminal behaviour. The stories satirize nobility, clergy and peasants alike, not shunning scatological humour.
The book, in German verse, is adorned with a large number of small woodcuts of male and female costumes, of noble-men and -women, monks, beggars, merchants, soldiers, etc., often repeated. The large woodcut illustrations were made after those in the first Rostock edition of 1539, of which 36 are ascribed to Erhard Altdorfer.
With 17th-century manuscript entries. Browned, with some marginal water stains and some occasional spots. Recased with new endpapers, binding slightly soiled with some damage to outer border. Good copy.
Goedeke I, p. 482; Menke VI, 17 (1); VD16, R 998 (6 copies).
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Related Subjects:

Art & architecture  >  Caricature, Costume & Satire
Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bindings | Early Printing, 15th & 16th Century
Literature & linguistics  >  Emblem, Fable & Songbooks | English, French & German Literature