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Well-illustrated classics on hunting, contemporarily coloured by Sebastian Schedel, one of the artists of Besler's "Hortus Eystettensis"

[Du Fouilloux, Jacques, et al.]. Neuw Jag unnd Weydwerck Buch, das ist ein grundtliche beschreibung vom Anfang der Jagten, auch vom Jäger, seinem Horn und Stim[m], Hunden [...]. (Part 2): Anderer Theil der adelichen Weydwerck, nemlich Falckenerey, Beyssen und Federspiel.

Frankfurt, Johann Feyerabend for Sigmund Feyerabend, 1582.

Folio. 2 parts. (4), 73, (1) pp. 103, (1) pp. 92, (2), 20 ff. With two title-pages (the first printed in red and black), the first illustrated with a woodcut hunting scene and the second with a woodcut of a falconer, with his equipment, hawks and hounds; 172 attractive woodcuts, mostly after Jost Amman, a few signed with the initials of Christoph Maurer, Ludwig Frig, and the unidentified M.B. and H.S.; and two different large printer's devices. All illustrations beautifully coloured by a contemporary hand. (Bound with) II: The same. New Jägerbuch: [...]. (Includes): Clamorgan, Jean de. Wolfsjagt. Strasbourg, Bernhard Jobin, 1590. 2 parts. With two title-pages, each with a woodcut illustration, the first showing a dedicational sculpture, and the second a hunting scene, and 69 attractive woodcuts by Tobias Stimmer and Christophe Maurer. All illustrations beautifully coloured by a contemporary hand. 2 works (both in 2 parts) in 1 volume. Near contemporary gold- and blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, with the years "1607" and "1629" on the front board together with the title "Jager buch" and the initials "B.V.", brass corner pieces, brass catches and anchors and traces of strap fastenings.

I: First edition of this German adaptation of Du Fouilloux's charmingly illustrated classic on hunting, "La venerie" (first published ca. 1560), with attractive, newly cut illustrations by the celebrated woodcut artist Jost Amman (1539-91). All illustrations are beautifully coloured by a contemporary hand, apparently by the first owner of the book: the German painter Sebastian Schedel (1570-1628, a descendant of Hartmann Schedel, the author of the Nuremberg chronicle), one of the artists who prepared the original drawings for Besler's famous "Hortus Eystettensis" (1613). A few of his drawings are found in Schedel's "Calendarium" located at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. This is not so much a translation as an adaptation of Du Fouilloux, Clamorgan, and Franchières, together with material from French, Italian and German sources as well as original matter. It discusses and illustrates hunters, hounds, the hunting of stags, wild boars, hares, foxes, badgers, bears, lynxes and wild goats, fishing, falconry, wolf hunting, and hunting equipment. "Ce beau livre renferme un très grand nombre de superbes figures" (Thibault). Jacques du Fouilloux lived during the reign of Charles IX, to whom his superb book was dedicated. He was a keen and experienced hunter. The "Venerie" caused a stir amongst 16th-century huntsmen, and the numerous editions attest to its ongoing popularity.

II: First German translation of Du Fouilloux's "La venerie", published eight years after the previous work, followed by a translation of Clamorgan's "La chasse du loup" (first published in 1564), one of the most important works on wolf hunting. All illustrations are coloured as well, by the same hand. "Livre d'une remarquable exécution" (Thibault). Jean de Clamorgan served as admiral in the French navy under François I, Henry II, François II and Charles IX. After his retirement he pursued wolf hunting on his lands in Normandy. "La chasse du loup" describes the habits of wolves and discusses different methods for hunting. The woodcuts illustrate the author's view that wolves are villainous animals, applying cunning tactics to mangle innocent lambs. Other woodcuts show wolf traps and wolf hunting with hounds.

The book has an interesting provenance, with the painted armorial manuscript bookplate of the German painter Sebastian Schedel (1570-1628) on the pastedown, bearing the motto "Ich Lass Passieren" and the year "1599". This is followed, on the recto of the first flyleaf, by the engraved armorial bookplate (dated 1645) of Clara and Wilhelm Kress von Kressenstein, members of one of the oldest patrician families of Nürnberg. At the foot, on the verso of the same flyleaf, is the ca. 1837 wood-engraved bookplate, with the coat of arms of Koch (Brunswick), with the motto "Candidior Illis". Finally, at the head, is the bookplate of the great bibliophile Charles Cousin (1822-94) with his initials "CC" at the foot, bearing the mottos "C'est ma toquade" and "Jean s'en alla comme il etoit venu" and the monogram "J.F.T." (Jean de La Fontaine Toqué). The binding has "Jäger buch" and "1607" stamped in gilt on the front board, followed by the initials "BV" and the year "1629", both blind-tooled or lacking the gold. Schedel must have acquired the book in 1599, as stated on the bookplate, and had it bound in 1607 after colouring all the illustrations. During this time the order of the leaves of I must have been jumbled, for halfway through part one it continues with the remaining pages of part two (and vice versa). As there is no gap in the pagination or quire signatures, this is not immediately obvious. A contemporary manuscript note concerning the erroneous order is found on the first misbound leaf (R3). A year after Schedel's death in 1628 the book must have come into possession of "BV" who added his initials and year of acquisition. The margins are ruled in green throughout, likely contemporary with the colouring, resulting in some occasional small clean tears along the rules. Some minor thumbing and a few occasional spots, particularly in the opening leaves, but otherwise in very good condition. Endpapers foxed, spine a bit worn, and most of the gold tooling is oxydized, but the binding is still good and structurally sound. A beautifully illustrated and coloured classic on hunting.

I: Nissen, ZBI 1175. Schwerdt I, p. 30. Thibault, col. 312. USTC 674918. VD 16, D 2870.

II: Nissen, ZBI 1177. Schwerdt I, p. 155 & IV, p. 28. Thibault, col. 313. USTC 677104. VD 16, D 2871.