VIENNA 1666 -- SBARRA, Francesco (fl. 1640-1680). La Contesa dell Aria e dell' Acqua. Vienna: Matthäus Cosmerovius, 1667.
2o (286 x 191 mm). 30 etched plates (9 folding). (A few tears to folding plates.) 18th-century sprinkled sheep (some rubbing and repairs); cloth folding case. Provenance: Duke of Arenberg's library at Nordkirchen (bookplate).
THE BEST-KNOWN HORSE BALLETS, PERFORMED ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST MARRIAGE OF LEOPOLD I IN 1666 in Vienna is as a manneristic successor to the knightly tournaments staged in earlier times. "The classical era of the Austrian 'Rossballett' coincides with the high tide of the baroque period under Leopold I. Of the two grand equestrian ballets performed in 1666 and 1667, the first won worldwide renown because numerous copies of a description were sent to all great courts of Europe. It was entitled 'The contest between Air and Water." The engravings by JOHANN OSSENBECK adorning the description show the performance in the Burghof, or castle yard. On the 'carro' sits Fama, singing her arias, which were composed by Bertali. The organizer of the festival was Francesco Sbarra, who gives a description of it and also refers to the latest equestrian plays of Tuscany" (Nettle). Other plates include depictions of the cloud-car, a cave of a Vulcano, and other particulars of the caroussels. 23 plates are depictions of the equestrian ballet "wherein every art of horsemanship is displayed" (Nettle). The music at the end is by JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER Arie per il Balletto à Cavallo . "Schmelzer, in his ballet-arias, was the first to write genuine Viennese tunes, and dances pervaded by a fresh spirit of Austrian peasant-music, that distinguishes them from the Ilalian opera-music of his time" (Nettle "Equestrian Ballets of the Baroque Period" in Musical Quarterly 1933, pp. 77-78). Berlin 2850; Cicognara 1466; Lipperheide Sc8; Vinet 670.
VIENNA 1666 -- Vom Himmeln entzündete und durch Allgemainen Zuruff der Erde sich Himmelwerts erschwingende Frolokhungs-Flammen zur Begängnuss des Hochzeitlichen beylagers Beeder Kayserlichen Mayestäten Leopoldi dess Ersten und Margarita, der geborner Infantin aus Hispanien Vienna, 1666. Engraved title and 3 double-page engraved plates by MELCHIOR KüSEL. Spectacular fireworks, celebrating the wedding of LEOPOLD I (1640-1705) Holy Roman Emperor, and MARGARET THERESA of Spain (1651-1673), illuminated the sky of Vienna in December 1666 and are captured in this three part description and on 3 engraved plates by MELCHIOR KüSEL (1622-1683). Lipperheide Sc 6; Lotz p.102; Vinet 668; Watanabe 74. -- APIANUS, Petrus (1495-1552) and Bartholomeus AMANTIUS. Inscriptiones sacrosanctae vetustatis. Ingolstadt: P. Apianus, 1534. 2o. Title printed in red and black with a large alegoric woodcut by HANS BROSAMER after ALBRECHT DüRER, 7 historiated initials, woodcut coat-of arms of Fugger by ORSTENDORFER on Aa2 and, text within woodcut border throughout, numerous woodcut illustrations in text. (Some dampstaining, minor wormig at end.) Provenance: Contemporary additions of classical inscriptions (8 leaves bound in at end). FIRST EDITION of the first major study of classical inscriptions found in Italy, Dalmatia, Germany, France, Spain and in other places. The work was conceived by the humanist Conrad Peutinger and financed by the Augsburg merchant-banker Raimond Fugger. Adams A-1291; Brunet I:342; STC/BMC German p. 37.