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Wyirhen Buchlein auf dem Kreuz Weeg unsers Heilands Jesu Christi in Virzehen Betrachung abgetheit.

Published by Bavaria
Condition: Very Good
From White Fox Rare Books, ABAA/ILAB (West Windsor, VT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 4, 2009 Seller Rating 5-star rating

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About this Item

A folk rococo manuscript rendering of "The Fourteen Stations of the Cross". N.d., circa early to mid-18th century. 12mo. 15.5 by 10 cm. Unpaginated, 37 leaves, almost all with beautiful traditional painted folk art ornamentation -- peasant Rococo, if you will. Also several other pages with original art, two with armorial art, a third, and a highlight of the whole manuscript, a highly unusual rendering of baby Jesus, and finally a decorative title page. Each of the stations is presented first with a copper engraved print, followed by one leaf, or two pages, of original manuscript describing the incident and its significance. The text is written in what is now an inscrutable German cursive, but the headings are in a calligraphic Fraktur, and as noted, everything is framed by decorative Rococo flourishes. A final text leaf, two pages, is written in a far more legible and decorative Gothic, and much of its second page is taken up with yet another, different, coat-of-arms. On a blank is written in pencil a name in an opaque Sutterlin Schrift. We can decipher the first name as "Josef" but the long surname we are not certain of. We assume this is the name of a subsequent owner, and not the artist who produced the book. The frontis Baby Jesus is robed in actual fabric, and this has borders of raised paper. But even more extraordinary is the the border tracery, the rays of light emanating from Jesus' head, and the podest, or pedestal, at the base. On the flat page the ornamentation is subdued, pleasant but not eye-catching. But if one looks closely, one discerns that it is entirely created by the punching of minute holes through the paper. If one holds the leaf up to the light, suddenly an ethereal intricacy emerges. The design is visible from the other side of the leaf, where its loose outline is traced in pencil -- the tool in laying out the design. The three coat-of-arms are each different. The first of three features a man on top holding two sickles. The sickle is repeated four times within the escutcheon below. At the base one finds lettering, which while very legible, is ambiguous because it is not known whether letters are partially and artfully superimposed. The second has two dice among the decorative tools that serve as the other symbols! The third has two birds above, two within, the escutcheon. Below are the initials here entirely clear: P.C.F., but their significance is probably unknowable. While the subject matter is among the most central to the Christian faith, the book itself is an object of beauty that can be appreciated for its folk artwork independent of its pietistic content, although one should not minimize the centrality of religion in inspiring such an effort. All edges gilt. Leather heavily worn and darkened, with large losses on the spine, and dryness generally. One can still evince the decorative tooling on the boards, but there is no remains of gilt. Scattered soiling within but in general, the contents are bright and attractive. Bookseller Inventory # 004073

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Wyirhen Buchlein auf dem Kreuz Weeg unsers ...

Publisher: Bavaria

Binding: Full Calf

Book Condition:Very Good

Store Description

Antiquarian books of all kinds, with emphases on color plate books, decorative arts, foreign literature (German, French, Italian, Spanish), children's literature, philosophy, sporting (equine, hunting, shooting).

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