20 June 2013
VELDE, Jan van den (1569-1623). Deliciae Variarum insigniumque scripturarum. [Amsterdam and Haarlem:] 1604-05 [or later].
Oblong 4o (158 x 214mm). 52 leaves: engraved title dated 1604 with allegorical border, 50 numbered plates of calligraphy engraved by Gerard Gauw after Van den Velde, Finis plate dated 1605 with death attributes. (Some staining in places.) Modern blue morocco, original stab-holes visible, endpaper of a previous binding preserved, with a contemporary ownership inscription on recto and 19th-century bibliographical notes on verso. Provenance: Jacob Soolman in Haarlem (inscription dated 1640); Renato Rabaiotti (bookplate); acquired from Maggs Bros., 1989.
The earliest and perhaps the rarest of Van den Velde's half-dozen writing books. One issue of it was published by Willem Jansz. Blaeu, another was marketed by the calligrapher himself, and the Haarlem engraver, Gauw, probably sold copies as well; the present set, for instance, has an early Haarlem provenance. Dutch engraved writing books were often reissued over a period of time according to demand, sometimes shedding preliminary letterpress and/or plates in the process. The maximum number of leaves known for the Deliciae is 60, other sets are recorded with 59 or 58 leaves, while the Vershbow set only contains 52 plates including the title-page. Berlin Kat. 5008; Bonacini 1925; Brunet V, 1116; Graesse VI, 274; Jessen 2497. A.R.A. Croiset van Uchelen, Deliciae: over de schrijfkunst van Jan van den Velde (Haarlem: 1984).
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