Item #360 Dance of Death. ANON.
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Dance of Death
Ars Moriendi in Troyes.

Dance of Death

[DANCE OF DEATH] La Grande danse macabre. Troyes: Jean-Antoine Garnier, 1728 (but 1766-1773). 


A good copy of the last 18th-century edition of the Troyes Danse Macabre, illustrated with 61 half-page woodcuts. The cuts are from a mixture of older blocks of better quality but greater wear, and later copies of the same cuts, cleaner but colder, giving this edition a ghoulish, Frankensteinian feel entirely consonant with the subject matter. The privilege to print on the last page of our edition is dated 1728 and granted to Pierre Garnier, but it was this Garnier's grandson, Jean-Antoine, who actually printed it, sometime between 1766 and 1773, the year he died. As such, the privilege (given for the Danse macabre and 10 other titles, including the Calendrier des bergers), is really just an "expired passport" (Socard's characterization) that the Garnier dynasty used to print and reprint this and other illustrated books ad infinitum. The 1728 date was a kind of deception on the part of the Garniers, which has been perpetuated by booksellers—a glance at the auction and sales history of this editon has the publication date as "1728" more often than not. A complete examination of the Garnier editions, including minutiae on the differences in the woodcuts, was accomplished by Alexis Socard in his 1864 monograph on Troyes imprints from 1600-1800. Ours is a relative good copy of a work originally sold "on the line" in regional French street markets, and often found in tatters today. Its stark, motive woodcuts still have the power to advert attention and leave the witness feeling awfully mortal.                                                                 


4to, 225 x 174 x 10 mm (binding); 222 x 171 x 5 mm (text block). A-I4, K2, 76 pp. Early 20th-century bradel-style binding of thin paste-paper-covered boards, unlettered. Corners bumped, endpapers browned. Interior: Leaves browned and a bit soft (as most copies); first and last leaves foxed; some dog-ears; margins a bit precious, with cropping of signature to E1. Some deckles preserved. 


Cf. Oberlé, 1; cf. Nisard II, p. 284 and 303; cf Fairfax Murray 108; Socard, Alexis, Livres populaires imprimés à Troyes de 1600 à 1800, Troyes: 1864, p. 126-7; cf. Peignot G., Recherches historiques et littéraires sur les Danses des morts, p. 123-125; not in ARTFL Bibliotheque Bleue.

Troyes: Garnier, c1770.

Item #360

Price: $6,100.00