February 2022 Catalogue

First Edition Of Imitations Of Original Drawings By Holbein, A Majestic Large Folio Volume Of 84 Beautiful Color Stipple-Engraved Portraits Of The Court Of Henry VIII, With The Very Rare Extra Suite Of 8 Plates Of The Court Of Francis II 29. (HOLBEIN, Hans) CHAMBERLAINE, John. Imitations of Original Drawings by Hans Holbein, In the Collection of His Majesty, For the Portraits of Illustrious Persons of the Court of Henry VIII. London, 1792-1800. Large folio (17-1/2 by 22-1/2 inches), 19th-century full dark green morocco gilt. $38,000. Click for more info First edition of Chamberlaine’s magnificent volume of 84 color stipple-engraved plates, rarely found complete, an impressive collection of full-page engravings after Holbein’s legendary portraits of Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, a young Edward VI, Anne of Cleves, and other court figures, with color frontispiece portraits of Holbein and his wife, with all but four portraits engraved by the great Bartolozzi. With the very rare extra suite of eight Holbein portraits of the court of Francis II, only included with some copies. Beautifully bound. The majestic portraiture of Holbein, who died in London in 1543, “remains unsurpassed for sureness and economy of statement, penetration into character, and a combined richness and purity of style” (Waterhouse). At the end of the 18th century, John Chamberlaine, in the court of George III, sought to bring together a work to pay tribute to Holbein’s magnificent artistry. As the king’s Keeper of the Drawings, he assembled 84 splendid color stippleengraved full-page portraits of Edward VI, Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Jane Seymour, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Anne of Cleves, and other major figures of the age. “One of the most magnificent books that we have ever seen, and, whether we consider the genius of the painter or the talents of the engravers, reflects high honor on the age and nation which produced it” (London Monthly Review). “This magnificent work is surely the finest early example of English color printing” (Ray, English 19). “In every way a splendid book” (Abbey, Life, 205). Initially issued serially in 14 parts from 1792-1800. This volume’s 84 beautiful portraits, some printed on pink paper, were achieved with techniques that admirably succeed in honoring Holbein’s portraiture. The plates were etched or engraved in gray or sepia ink, with additional colored inks applied a la poupee, two hand-colored. Text by Edmund Lodge. The suite of eight additional portraits of the court of Francis II is all that was published of “an intended continuation to Chamberlaine’s Imitations. It will be noticed that all eight are without dated imprints, and it is therefore probable that no copies were issued to the public until the stock was acquired many years later by Messrs. Bohn, who added them as a Supplement to copies of the earlier work” (Abbey, Life, 206). Some plates mounted. One plate with repaired tear, plates exceptionally clean and fresh, binding beautiful. A stunning production. February 2022 – 31 – Bauman Rare Books