12 June 2009
COLOGNE 1588 -- [CHIFFLET, Jules]. Les Marques d'Honneur de la Maison de Tassis. Antwerp: Balthasar Moretus, 1645.
2o (391 x 242 mm). Half-title. Engraved allegorical title with coat-of-arms, 3 engraved double-page plates, 5 full-page engravings and 25 engraved coats-of arms, some full page, all engraved after NICHOLAS VAN DER HORST by PAUL PONTIUS, CORENIUS GALLE and WENZEL HOLLAR, large woodcut Plantin device on penultimate page (a few short marginal tears, Hollar's funeral plate with old tape repair on verso). Contemporary Dutch vellum over pasteboard, later lettering on spine (repair to rear free endpaper).
A lavishly produced history of the THURN AND TAXIS family, published on the occasion of the coming of age of LAMORAL CLADIUS FRANZ, Count of Taxis. From an early age he had taken an interest in his distinguished family whose fortunes derived from their monopoly on the postal services in the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands and Burgundy since the early sixteenth century. Perhaps the most remarkable engraving in the work is the double-page plate by WENZEL HOLLAR representing the splendid funeral of JEAN-BAPTISE DE TASSIS, which took place in Cologne 1588. The count had been killed during the siege of the town of Bonn. The work also contains a fine portrait of Count Lamoral engraved by Paul Pontius after Nicholaus van der Horst, both distinguished pupils of Rubens. Both were also responsible for the remarkable double portraits of Muley Hassan, ruler of Tunis in the 1530s, and Johann Baptista, Count of Taxis, both in Arab costume and identical pose. Muley Hassan resided in Johann Baptista's house in Brussels for a few months in 1535 after the capture of his kingdom by the Barbary Pirates. He was reinstated by Charles V later in the same year. Drugulin 765; Funck 291; Hollstein 9: Van der Horst, 50-53, 56, 62-63.
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