Haarlem: Izaak Enschedé, 1731 [later impressions]. 4to in 8s (240 x 190 mm). Wood-engraved title (incorporating a portrait of Laurens Jansz. Koster) and 58 small wood engravings. Original blue wrappers; cloth slipcase. Provenance: Bibliothek Wünsch (label on front wrapper); Joseph Wünsch (1964 bookplate); acquired in 1985. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401749
A very rare edition containing a collection of 58 woodcuts published by Izaak Enschedé after Ostade's drawings and engraved by Izaak van der Vinne. These blocks were acquired by Izaak Enschedé when he purchased the contents of the printing firm of Christiaan Vermey of Leiden in 1724. The Haarlem printing house of Enschedé was founded by Isaac Enschedé, who registered with the guild of the booksellers of Haarlem in 1703. He published many popular prints, including XXXVI. aartige figuuren, geinventeert door Izaak van Ostade tot Haarlem. J. Enschede Excudit, a series of thirty-six numbered woodcuts showing mythical figures with human and bestial grotesque features. These woodcuts were first published by Isaak Enschedé in 1730, printed on a single sheet, and republished by him the following year. Many of these same blocks were used in the present collection, expanded with additional woodcuts from unidentified artists and adding a new woodcut title-page. Its imposition suggests that it too was produced from multiple woodcuts printed on single sheets.
Izaak van der Vinne was born in Haarlem in 1665, and employed as an engraver and publisher until his death in 1740. Beyond the 36 woodblocks used in the XXXVI aartige figuuren, the publishing house Enschedé was also in possession of another forty eight woodblocks engraved by Van der Vinne. The subjects of these blocks contain a variety of animals and characters and seasons of the year typically depicted in the popular prints of the time, and some of these were incorporated into this collection. Many of the subjects collected in this edition (including 12 Gobbi) were clearly derived from Callot’s “Grotesque Dwarves,” his famous series of etchings which first appeared in 1616.