FIRST EDITION -- EXCESSIVELY RARE
AMMAN, Jost. Enchiridion artis pingendi, fingendi & sculpendi.  leaves. Collation: (:)4, A-Z4, a-d4. Title-page within a woodcut border, 3 ff. (dedication to Hieronymus August von Holtzhusen, with woodcut arms), plus 107 woodcuts by Jost Amman, and with the final letterpress leaf (colophon). Small 4to., 168 x 125 mm, bound in 19th century calf, gilt front cover, orange and green leather spine labels. Frankfurt: Petrus Fabricius (Schmidt) for Siegmund Feyrabend, 1578.
First Edition of one of the earliest model books intended to aid painters, designers, engravers, and printers -- of the greatest rarity: OCLC records only the seriously defective copy at Cornell and the copy at Northwestern, which lacks 5 plates.
Jost Amman (1539-1591) is recognized as one of the most expressive and sensitive woodcut artists of the sixteenth century; originally from Zurich, at the age of 21 he established himself in Nuremberg where he continued the tradition of meticulous engraving in the manner of Durer and Beham, and there he received numerous commissions (more than 540 different prints by him are known).
The woodcuts elegantly depict figures from antique mythology, costume designs, tournaments with swords and spears, horses, armorial escutcheons, Turkish soldiers, dancing couples, allegorical characters, contemporary scenes from literature and/or theater, and superb "models" intended to aide painters, designers, engravers and copyists of the day. Since it was designed specifically for use as a "Picture Book," copies were heavily used and frequently fragmented: hence, there remain only a handful of copies extant in varying degrees of completeness.
A German issue of this model book was issued in the same year; the work was reprinted, with additions, in 1580 (under the title Kunst und Lehrbüchlein); eleven years after Amman's death (in 1599), 293 of his woodcuts were republished under the title Kunstbüchlein, Darinnen neben Fürbildung vieler, Geistlicher und Weltlicher, Hohes and Nider stands Personen (for which see the Dover facimile). All three editions are of cosmic rarity. Our copy is complete and aside from inconsequential mariginal thumb-staining and a small repaired marginal tear leaf c3, it remains in a fine state of preservation.
Andresen 237. Becker 27. Hollstein p. 51. Colas 117 (Part I) and 118 (Part II). Lipperheide 498 and Fairfax-Murray, German 36 (the 1599 edition only). Berlin Katalog 4757 (for the first edition and Part II only of the 1580 edition).
Item nr. 167311