NETHERLANDS 1638 -- PUGET DE LA SERRE, Jean (1600-1665). Histoire de l'Entrée de la Reyne Mere du Roy tres-chrestien, dans les Provinces Unies des Pays-Bas. London: J. Raworth for G. Thomason and O. Pullen, 1639.
2o (386 x 255 mm). Engraved additional title, 14 engraved plates (one folding), of which a number are by WENZEL HOLLAR. (Title repaired along gutter margin, some minor spotting and soiling, a few pale dampstains.) Contemporary vellum over pasteboard (front hinge cracked). Provenance: André Eugène de Walsh (early signature on title of first work); Château de Serrant, castle ink stamp on both titles); Monsignor della Tramoglia (de la Tremouille; bookplate and Château de Serrant, castle ink stamp on both titles).
RARE FIRST EDITION of La Serre's description of the famous visit of MARIE DE MEDICI (1573-1642) to the Dutch Republic in 1638, beautifully illustrated with four plates and portraits by Wenzel Hollar (1607-1677) and with exceptionally fine etched views of the splendid entrees of the French Queen Mother into the various Dutch cities. Marie de Medici was the wife of King Henri IV and the mother of King Louis XIII of France. She became regent of France for her 9-year old son in 1610 and one of the most powerful figures in Europe. She was finally exiled by her son at the advice of Cardinal Richelieu to Compiègne in 1630.
Landwehr and also Fairfax Murray ascribe the other etchings to Hollar as well, but Pennington, Parthey and Hind give only the frontispiece, the view of the States General and the two portraits to that artist. Wenzel Hollar, lived at the time at London with the Earl of Arundel and worked also for publishers. Apart from the beautiful large view of Maria de Medici's procession approaching the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, the fine etchings show the going ashore of the Royal Company at Gorcum, at Dordrecht and at Rotterdam, each with a fine view of sailing ships on the wide and wild waters of the river with the city in the background. The whole procession is shown again nearing The Hague, and at Amsterdam a boat-show on the canals is depicted. At Leiden the 'Entree' is shown on a quay alongside a canal, and the last plate, showing the Queen Mother's dramatic stormy channel-crossing to England. Landwehr, Splendid Ceremonies 106; Muller 1788; Fairfax Murray French 687; STC 20489; Vinet 490; see Pennington, Descriptive catalogue of the etched work of Hollar (1982), nos. 463, 1687, 2675; Parthey, Wenzel Hollar (1853), nos. 463, 1687, 2675; Hind, Wenzel Hollar (1922), pp. 3, 11.
GREAT BRITAIN 1637--PUGET DE LA SERRE, Jean. Histoire de l'Entrée de la Reyne Mère du Roy tres-chrestien dans la Grande-Bretagne. London: John Raworth for George Thomason and Octavian Pullen, 1639.
2o. Engraved additional title and 13 engraved plates (one folding), of which a number are by WENZEL HOLLAR.
Following her travels to the Netherlands, Marie de Medici continued on to England. In her retinue was the author of these accounts, Jean-Puget de la Serre, who was the librarian for Gaston d'Orleans. It was a journey that would culminate in a long-awaited reunion with her daughter Henrietta-Maria, wife of King Charles I of England, after a stormy cross-channel passage and a ride through East Anglia into London and the Court of St. James. The fine engraved frontispiece and three portraits are among Hollar's finest productions (see Pennington, pp. 460-2). Fairfax Murray French 688; STC 20488; Vinet 491.