17 November 2005,
London, South Kensington
Price realised GBP 6,000
GBP 2,000 - GBP 3,000
Le Centre de l'Amour, decouvert soubs divers emblesmes galans et facetieux. Paris: Cupidon, 1680. 4° (15.5 x 19.3cm), engraved title and 90 (of 92) engraved emblems with mottos in Latin and German and with epigramatic verse in French on verso (lacks plates 7 and 57, some light marginal soiling, S3 repaired, Z3 with long marginal tear), contemporary calf, red edges (extremities worn, large chip in lower cover). Provenance: purchased from Davis and Orioli, London, 20 July 1943, for £7. 10s.
FIRST ISSUE OF THIS FINE EMBLEM BOOK INCLUDING TENNIS AND OTHER SPORTING SCENES. The plates are partly taken from Rollos' Vita Corneliana and Euterpae Suboles, both 1639. Three have a relevance to tennis. Plate 1, showing the ages of man, includes the figure of a child clutching a racket and pursuing a ball that has strayed into a dining-room where older people are seated. Plate 3 gives a splendid view of a doubles match (see above). To compliment the indoor game, plate 8 is a view of longue paume being played just outside the walls of a renaissance garden, in the foreground a lover encourages his lady to watch and perhaps even compete -- a probably facetious idea.
RARE. Praz and Landwehr cite only later issues of this work which are also rare. Praz knew of this 1680 issue solely from the 1961 bookseller's catalogue of F. and G. Staack, Camden, Maine; in this copy the date MDCLXXX had been altered to VI in an old hand. cf. Praz Emblem-Books p. 302; Landweher Romanic Emblem Books 223; not in Henderson.
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