Small 8vo (154 x 86 mm). , 60, , [3 blank] pp. Line-engraved title vignette & 28 engraved illustrations in text, some two to a page, most of female busts, four of animals' heads, the last two showing full-length female figures including a saint next to a palm tree. Faint offsetting of engravings. Bound ca. 1790-1810 in French citron morocco, triple gilt fillet framing sides, smooth spine gold-tooled with fleurons and monogram AAP or AAR, black calf lettering-piece, board edges & turn-ins gilt, pale blue silk liners, vellum flyleaves, edges gilt; faint small stain on upper cover, extremities a bit scuffed. Provenance: Pierre Bulteau de Préville, 18th-century engraved armorial bookplate by P. Giffart (mounted on title verso), his sale September 1727; unidentified owner, monogram on binding; George Hibbert (1757-1837), penciled note of acquisition at the Hibbert sale, 1829, shelfmark W3780; Laurent Currie, bookplate.
Only Edition of an eccentric treatise on female looks. Vaenius derives his canon of beauty from verses of the Canticum Canticorum. Each of the 14 chapters opens with a verse from the Song of Songs, and concludes with Vaenius' Latin verses. Many of the neat outline engravings of female heads or figures are paired with pictures of the animal to which a particular feature was likened in the relevant verse. A famous chapter which rather equivocally celebrates Black beauty opens with the verse "Nolite me considerare, quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me sol.” A bibliophiles’ copy in citron morocco.
Brunet V:1026; Gay-Lemonnyer III:1228; Funck, Le livre belge à gravures 405; Krivatsy, Seventeenth century printed books in the National Library of Medicine 12098; Dorbon, Bibliotheca Esoterica 5014. Item #2257