The world's first city, depicted with the image of a white falcon

[Broadsheet]. Hanoch, die Erste Statt der Welt.

[Prague, J. Hiller, c. 1730?].

Folio (271 x 493 mm). Broadsheet with 5 engravings and two columns of letterpress.


Extremely rare, uncommon print describing the legendary Biblical city of Enoch, the "first city of the world", founded by Cain and named after his first son (cf. Gen. 4:17). The centre of the sheet shows a large (264 x 152 mm) view of the city (workmen erecting the walls in the background; Cain's family farming in the foreground), with numerous animals including elephants and lions. The smaller engravings to the left and right (130 x 85 mm each) show pumpkins ("Pepones"), a white falcon, a crane, and several marine animals (including a seal, dolphin, and sand flea). To the left and right of these are columns of letterpress text describing the city in eight twelve-line verses.

The style of the view is obviously closely related to the illustrations familiar from the Prague engraver Jan Hiller (active 1716-46, cf. Dlabacz, Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon für Böhmen I, 628-631), who also provided the plates for Myller's "Peregrinus in Jerusalem", a work that not only contains several topographical views, but also botanical and zoological illustrations. The Myller plate "La Ragna, die Meer-Spinne" shows several of the marine creatures depicted here in exactly the same fashion: clearly, Hiller re-used his work for the present broadsheet. This conclusion is further supported by the fact that the five plates evidence varying degrees of wear: while the large, central illustration shows good, strong contrast, the other four are markedly fainter.

Mounted on sturdy paper, probably by a near-contemporary collector; trimmed close to the plate edges. Slight brownstaining.

Stock Code: BN#31982 Tags: , , , ,