Artliche unnd Kunstreiche Figurn zu der Reutterey.Frankfurt: Sigmund Feyerabend, 1584.

AMMAN Jost (1584)



Title in red and black within fine one-piece woodcut border of horses in battle, 97 equestrian woodcuts, principally on rectos only, by Jost Amman.

Oblong 8vo (190 x 152mm). [88]ff. 19th-century vellum over paste boards, ornamental stamp in blind on upper cover, lettering to spine.

Frankfurt: Sigmund Feyerabend, 1584.

The rare, complete first edition of Jost Amman's handsome suite of equestrian illustrations. The crisply printed and highly detailed woodcuts depict horses in a variety of contexts: with armoured riders locked in battle; for sport (i.e. jousting, hunting, falconry); bearing female riders, and fashionable gentlemen; being tended to by blacksmiths, and so on. 


'One of the most prolific printmakers and book illustrators of the late sixteenth century' (NGA, Jost Amman), Amman enjoyed a long collaboration with the printer of the present work, Frankfurt-based Sigmund Feyerabend (1528-1590), who commissioned the majority of the illustrator's output. Though his drawings were also printed via etching and copperplate, it was Amman's woodcuts in particular that proved to be extremely popular, and he is known to have cut the wooden blocks himself for much of his career. The wonderfully detailed cuts in the present pattern book exhibit much of Amman's characteristic style and attention to detail; in particular, the close attention paid to the contemporary costume and dress of riders and their elaborate riding paraphernalia. Such detail echoes other of Amman's most popular and well-known works and belies the purpose of the suite as a pattern book; in fact this full suite can be found in the expanded, 1599 edition of Amman's famous Kunstbüchlin, his manual for artists, which combined the woodcuts from the first edition of 1578 with illustrations from his other works. 


There appear to have been two editions of the same year; the present copy has 97 woodcuts, as called for in Hollstein (II, p.53), though Bartsch (IX, no.5) lists only 92 illustrations, which were then reprinted fifteen years later together with the Icones Livianae (1572). Hollstein lists two editions of the same year, though makes no mention of the number of illustrations, nor whether they indicate precedence. 


Well-thumbed throughout. 


VD16 A 2295 (HAB Wolfenbüttel only; OCLC adds BSB, SB Ansbach, SB Bamberg.) Andresen 246. Becker 39b. Hollstein II, p.53. Bartsch IX, no.5. Yemeniz Catalogue de la Bibliotheque (Paris: 1867), 3136, 'elle est charmante de verve et d'une excellente exécution sur le bois'.  

[OCLC: UK: BL only. No copies in USA. One copy in Denmark (Royal Danish Library)].

Stock Code: 246066

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