HOLBEIN, Hans, the younger (1497-1543). The Images of the Old Testament, lately expressed, set forthe in Ynglishe and Frenche, with a playn and brief exposition. Lyons: J. Frellon, 1549.
Small 4° (196 x 129mm). Text in English and French. 93 woodcuts in the text and one full-page with 4 images of the Evangelists, two versions of the printer's device (one to title and the other to recto of last blank). (Light spotting to first few leaves and beginning and end.) Bound in full morocco by Katherine Adams, lettered in gilt on upper cover, signed in gilt with her device and dated 1902 on rear turn-in (extremities lightly rubbed); green textured-paper slipcase. Provenance: Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867-1962, book collector and director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, ink ownership inscription dated Aug 20 1902, later presentation inscription dated 3 April 1961 to:) -- Joan Hassall (1906-1988, artist, wood-engraver and book illustrator) -- John Jermain Slocum (sold Sotheby's NY, 7 June 1988, lot 144).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF'THE MOST WONDERFUL SERIES OF ILLUSTRATION TO THE BIBLE IN EXISTENCE. Even outside the more limited sphere of book illustration they have practically no rivals' (A. Hind, Hans Holbein the younger, his Old Testament illustrations, 1912, p.6). The English translation is based on the Latin edition of 1539, while Gilles Corrozet's French text is a revision of the second 1547 edition (see Mortimer). The woodcuts were executed by Hans Lutzelburger.
THE COCKERELL-HASSALL COPY. Joan Hassall learned the art of wood engraving in 1931, and by 1937 was producing book illustrations in quantity and quality. 'A fine artist, skilled as a watercolourist as well as at drawing, it was as an engraver that she excelled, cutting perhaps a thousand blocks, which she proofed with great skill on an Albion hand-press. Inspired by Bewick, she preferred small vignettes to full-page illustrations, and enjoyed engraving for ordinary people, ordinary readers, rather than moneyed collectors' (ODNB). She became a friend of Sydney Cockerell, and corresponded extensively with him. VERY RARE. Brunet III: 253 ('plus rare que les autres'); Mortimer, Harvard French 283; STC 3045.