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Rare & Antiquarian

Rare and antiquarian titles from Pyewacket Books

L' Alfabeto della Morte

L' Alfabeto della Morte


[Holbein, Hans] Paris: Presso Edwin Tross, 1856. 4to. 38pp. Contemporary binding with floral embossed vellum over boards - a treat for the eyes and hands. Wood engraved illustrations throughout. Hand coloured. Some with gilt. Light stains and spotting throughout. "Albert Detken, Naples" blindstamped on first title page. Introduction in Italian by Luigi Odorici.

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) was a Renaissance printmaker and painter (notably for such period heavyweights as Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, and Henry VIII.) Reproductions of Holbein's initials are done by Heinrich Loedel. Letters "J" and "U" are missing, as is often the case with Roman majuscules. ¯\_(ツ)_/

Léon le Maire reproduced the dances of death for the borders, after Simon Vostres's Book of Hours.

The text itself contains mediations on death, which is reinforced by the historiated borders. Spoiler alert: everybody dies.

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