Paris: circa 1560. The set of 46 engravings, plates 190 x 140 mm, sheets 320 x 210 mm, good impressions, watermark Edmond de (?), with margins. 19th-century calf gilt. Four plates re-margined, old reinforcements along gutters, occasional pale staining and paper toning, otherwise in good condition. Provenance: purchased from Librairie de Nobele, 1982. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401709
In the 16th century, Du Cerceau and Jan Vredeman de Vries each issued albums of furniture designs, the first of their kind to appear. The plates show beds, tables, one chair, twenty buffets and armoires so elaborate that no ordinary cabinetmaker could have made them. The buffets are especially ornate, displaying caryatids, sphinxes, masks, garlands of fruit or flowers, trophies, vases, etc. “Although many pieces are shown built on platforms to raise them off cold stone and tile floors, comfort appears to have been a minor consideration. The beds are shallow wooden boxes with all sorts of decorative protuberances–lion masks, swans, snakes, and monsters–on which to bruise the human body” (Janet Byrne, Renaissance Ornament Prints and Drawings, New York, 1981, p.110).