Emblemata amatoria. Afbeeldinghen van minne. Emblemes d’amour.

Amsterdam, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, 1611.

Oblong 4to (181 x 142 mm), pp. 144, with an engraved allegorical title and 30 full-page engraved emblems; a fine copy in late nineteenth-century polished speckled calf, spine richly gilt, gilt edges, by Bedford.

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First edition, complete with the rare accompanying collection of sonnets and songs (pp. 73–144), of one of the most important emblem books of the Dutch Golden Age and a masterpiece of Dutch literature by the prolific poet and dramatist Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1648). All the emblems, illustrated with splendid engravings variously attributed to Simon Frisius, Pieter Servouters (see Praz) or Christoffel le Blon (see Landwehr), ‘are original in that they are not derived immediately from [Hooft’s] predecessors, but are freely inspired by the same or similar themes’ (Praz p. 124), and are accompanied by mottoes and distichs in Dutch, Latin and French.

Provenance: Samuel Ashton Thompson Yates (1842–1903), with his bookplate. Loosely inserted is a two-page typescript letter signed from Mario Praz to Allan Heywood Bright, dated Brighton, 8 December (year unknown), discussing the originality of the engravings of various emblem books about love, among which is Hooft’s Emblemata amatoria, and the collection of Lord Lothian.

De Vries 48; Landwehr, Low Countries 320; Praz p. 371.

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