Antiquariat Jürgen Dinter

Hemsterhuis, Frans

Alexis … — Riga 1787

1.600 €

Alexis ou de l’age d’or … — Riga, chez Jean Frederic Hartknoch, 1787.

First edition

8vo (leaves are 166 x 100 mm). 188 p., 1 folded plate, 2 blanks. Contemporary red morocco tooled in gilt by Thomas van Os.

M2 is a cancel; the folding plate of the German edition, published by Hartknoch in the same year, is bound in at the end after M6 as in the KB copy at The Hague. Hinges and spine a bit rubbed. – Stoddard no. 11 (in: The Book Collector vol. 50/2).

Binding: See, J. St. van Eeuwen, Frans Hemsterhuis‘ binders … (same issue of The Book Collector …, pp. 202ff): „In the last quarter of the eighteenth century Thomas van Os was without any doubt the best binder in The Hague and probably in the whole of the Netherlands. His most beautiful bindings, like some for Hemsterhuis, have a frame of lacework on the covers with an undulating contour, which consists of arcs in different sizes, small leaves, fruits, birds and insects in a composition that is only symmetrical with respect to the longitudinal axes of the covers and is sometimes even totally asymmetrical. Thus van Os was the only Dutch binder of his time to translate the asymmetry of Rococco in terms of gold tooling. His technique stands the comparison with that of the best binders …“ The bindings known to be made by van Os between 1778 and 1790 are all, except one, bound for Hemsterhuis. The little stamps on both covers of our binding show insects, birds, hares, even fishes.