ALBUM AMICORUM of Philipp von DAMM (Brunswick, 1557-1599). Manuscript on paper, Germany (Brunswick, Rostock and elsewhere), 1577-1599, including approximately 167 blazoned coats of arms, four lacking colours, 18 other miniatures and two portrait engravings, a number pasted in, altogether 340 leaves (including 145 blanks), 8vo (168 x 110mm), modern pencil foliation (some light soiling and spotting, images and text affected by cropping), contemporary gold-tooled panelled calf over bevelled wooden boards, arabesque centre and corner pieces, edges gilt and gauffered, owner's initials ('PH V D') and date ('1599') on upper cover (rebacked, preserving original backstrip, gilt faded). Provenance: discussed in Braunschweigisches Magazin, 1907, p.620; armorial ex-libris and shelfmark (Ms.728) of Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann; shelfmark (Ser.nov. 2969) of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.
The distinguished cast of friends in von Dam's album include Heinrich Julius, Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (here signing as bishop of Halberstadt and Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, 1588), with a number of other members of the same family, the brothers Ernst and Ferdinand of Bavaria (sons of Duke Wilhelm V), Ulrich, Prince of Denmark (son of Frederick II, signed as 'Uldaricus haeres Norw[egiae,] Dux Sleswici Holsatiae') and numerous other members of the German nobility, together with Johann, Abbot of St Michael's, Hildesheim, Hermann, Abbot of St Godhardt's, Hildesheim, and a number of other prominent ecclesiastical figures; a signature of 'Tycho Brahe Junior' (f.173), Braunschweig, 13 January 1599, is presumably that of the astronomer's eldest surviving son, who was 17 at the time.
The miniatures comprise attractive costume-book illustrations of ladies (ff.52, 71v, 72v, 75, 224, annotated 'Venedigk', 224v, annotated 'Danzigk', 226), a reclining male figure (f.73v), two disputing clerics (f.86v), a gentleman out hawking on horseback (f.88v), a birdcatcher offering his victims to a lady, his traps visible in the background (f.156), two scenes, the first of a naked and pustulous old woman taking a footbath, a demon behind her, the second of a horned cat in a sleigh drawn by demonic creatures (f.157), a couple either side of a flowerpot, three children growing at the head of the stalks (f.159v, with a defaced incription), two female figures holding cords which support a youth balancing on a sphere (f.161), a lady and three gentlemen, finely dressed (f.165v), an armed man chasing two women across a town square (worn, f.219v), and Cupid aiming at a reposing male figure, a wounded stag at his side (f.220v).