Title: Varia comensuracion de Juan de Arfe y ...
Publisher: En La Imprenta Real, Madrid
Publication Date: 1806
Book Condition: Very Good
2 volumes in 1, folio (287 x 195mm). (Volume I: , 1-36, [8 pls.], 37-68, [4 pls.], 69-95, [7 pls.], 97-126, [32 pls.]; Volume II: , 1-60, [18 pls.], 61-99, [15 pls.], 101-112, [12 pls.], 113-166pp.) 96 engraved plates, including diagrams of geometry, anatomy and architecture. Bound for William Stirling (1818-1878) in mottled morocco gilt-stamped to front cover with his arms (a bend engrailed with three buckles) surrounded by his family motto "Gang Forward," spine labeled "Juan de Arfe Varia Comensuracio Madrid 1806," marbled endpapers, edges gilt; (few plates foxed, otherwise clean and well-preserved). Stirling’s armorial bookplate to front pastedown beneath monogrammed bookplate "D.P." with chipmunk and two mice, and to rear pastedown the "Keir Arts of Design" bookplate. New Edition, corrected and augmented. Juan de Arfe y Villafañe, also known as the "Spanish Cellini," was a gifted goldsmith who came from one of the most important and influential goldsmithing dynasties in Spain. He was an influential Spanish engraver, goldsmith, artist, anatomist and author. Juan de Arfe’s Grandfather Enrique emigrated from Germany at the end of the 15th century and is credited with first popularizing the grand "custodias" of the 16th and 17th centuries. His son and grandson followed in his footsteps. Juan de Arfe’s book "De Varia Comensuracion" was first published in 1585 and each section focused on one of his subjects of expertise: geometry, human anatomy, animals, architecture and silverwork. Arfe later added, as in this edition, sections on birds, heraldry and sundials. Some of his work was from first-hand experience, as when he attended the flaying of corpses to gain material for the anatomy plates, and some was from other sources, such as Durer for the natural history engravings. Following his father’s death, Arfe moved to Valladolid, where he worked as a goldsmith, mostly for churches and cathedrals, making monstrances and other pieces for city churches including Ávila, Seville and Burgos. The section on goldsmithing contains engravings of many fine and elaborate pieces, most designed for ecclesiastical use. The sections on geometry and architecture also have special meaning for students of goldsmithing. Arfe viewed his silver designs as architecture in miniature and his aim was to lead his fellow goldsmiths back into the tradition of classical architecture. He was unaware that his ideas were helping to create a new style which later generations would christen the Renaissance. Rare. Worldcat locates only 6 copies in institutional collections in North America. Bookseller Inventory # D4436
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