Venationes, ferarum, auium, piscium. Pugnae bestiariorum: & mutuae bestiarum. [Antwerp]: Nicolaus Visscher, [no date, mid-17th century?] Oblong 2° (263 x 376mm), engraved title (cut down and mounted), and 101 (of 102) plates (all mounted, plate 36 lacking, small part of title border torn away, small stains affecting image of plates 26, 35 and 80, residue of adhesive affecting lower corner of plate 27, plate 28 with small abrasion, some soiling, spotting and waterstaining to mounts, some lightly wormed at top inner corner), 19th-century half morocco (block detached, rubbed and scuffed). Provenance: Sir Mountague Cholmeley Bart (bookplate).
A RARE WORK ON THE CHASE. The first recorded issue was dated 1578 and published in Antwerp by Phillipus Gallaeus with 104 plates.
Although born in Bruges, Jan van der Straat or Stradanus, as he became known, worked principally in Italy as a designer of cartoons for tapestries. From 1553-1571 he was employed by Cosimo de Medici who commissioned him to make a series of lavish representations of hunting, fowling and fishing for the adornment of twenty rooms in the Palace of Peggio-a-Cajano. These are the designs so magnificently commemorated in the Venationes, blending well-tried renaissance hunting methods with fabulous subject matter drawn from Persia, India and the East. Thiébaud 858; cf. Schwerdt II, p. 228; Souhart p. 446.