OF DEATH Danse
Hess, Hieronymus. La danse des morts ... Totentanz der Stadt Basel ... The dance of death painted by H. Hess from the fresco-paintings on the cemetery wall of St. Johns church at Basle. Bale: Alb. Sattler, . Folio (29.8 cm, 11.75"). , 40 ff.; 40 plts.
Click any image where the hand appears on
mouse-over, for an enlargement.
Uncommon first edition of Hess’s paintings along with polyglot text in French, German, and English. Hess took his inspiration from a Basel fresco depicting the Dance of Death, but was forced to work primarily from watercolor reproductions of the images, as the wall in question had been destroyed in 1805; notable innovations on his part include the addition of a Chinaman saying “My opium, it is inspiring, / But brings me death by English firing.”
C. Danzer lithographed
Hess’s designs for this publication, resulting in40
Publisher’s red cloth, front cover with gilt-stamped title;
cloth a bit rubbed over corners and spine extremities with unobtrusive spots
of minor discoloration, paper label on spine. All edges gilt. Endpapers of
white paper in imitation of moiré silk. Front fly-leaf with
early ownership inscription now almost entirely erased. All tissue guards
present. Minor to moderate foxing to some leaves; sewing just starting to
loosen. Overall, a solid, attractive copy of an interesting and seldom-seen
item. We, here, really
LIKE these pictures!
here . . .
BOOKS” . . .
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The Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts