Thirsis Minnewit. Bestaande in een verzameling der moyste en aangenaamste minne-zangen en voysen. DOS-À-DOS –.
Thirsis Minnewit. Bestaande in een verzameling der moyste en aangenaamste minne-zangen en voysen.
Thirsis Minnewit. Bestaande in een verzameling der moyste en aangenaamste minne-zangen en voysen.

Thirsis Minnewit. Bestaande in een verzameling der moyste en aangenaamste minne-zangen en voysen. Amsterdam: Joannes Kannewet II, [ca. 1750-1760].

2 works in 4 volumes, 12mo, bound dos-à-dos (binding size 134 x 74 x 50 mm). Thirsis Minnewit: 3 volumes: [8], 160; 164, [4]; [8], 160. Volume 1 with engraved frontispiece, all 3 letterpress titles with a woodcut vignette of men and women at a banquet, woodcut initials and tail-piece vignettes. Vrolyke zang-godin: 160, [4] pp. Without the 2 unpaginated preliminary leaves, containing the engraved frontispiece and title-leaf. Some soiling and staining in vol. 3, second work with tear to corner of fol. D8 catching a letter and catchword. Bound together in a double dos-à-dos binding of mottled dark brown calf, the two covers gold-tooled with two double-fillet panels, a small stamped arabesque lozenge at center and a large and small flowering plant tool at each corner of the inner panel, the spines gold-tooled in five compartments, second compartment with the gold-stamped volume number (1 to 4), gilt edges, marbled endpapers. Small repairs to corners and to fore-edge of lower board. Provenance: Grace Whitney Hoff (1862-1938), her 1933 catalogue: Amédée Boinet, Bibliothèque de madame G. Whitney Hoff, no. 294; by descent to her grandson Charles “de” Labouchere (Charles David Labouchere), with their bookplates.***

A pair of popular Dutch songbooks in a four-volume dos-à-dos binding. Known as a “double” dos-à-dos binding, surviving examples of this variant of the usual two-volume dos-à-dos are extremely rare, but, surprisingly, the genre seems to have been identified with the present popular erotic songbook: I locate only two other double dos-à-dos bindings, both on copies of these same songbooks (in different editions). The binding style may be a clever allusion to certain passages of the book’s racy contents.

Although few copies of any edition of Thirsis Minnewit are found outside the Netherlands, the Short-Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN) lists over 20 editions (each volume is listed separately, making an exact count difficult). The collection was first printed in 1636, under the title Scoperos satyra ofte Thyrsis minnewit, attributed to Johan van Dans. According to STCN, Joannes Kannewet II, the publisher of the present edition, was active for nearly fifty years, from 1733 to 1780. The title of volume 3 declares it Verbeeterd (corrected). This is one of several editions to have been issued with a companion songbook, De vrolyke zang-godin. The two works, technically separate editions, are found together in all extant copies recorded. In this copy the binder apparently deliberately omitted the title-page and woodcut frontispiece of the Zang-godin, evidently a not uncommon practice.

The unsigned engraved frontispiece in volume 1 shows a pastoral scene with an embracing couple, dancing nude nymphs in the background, and an androgynous creature representing Bacchus in a chariot pulled by swans in the foreground. This iconography and the small banquet vignette were a regular component of the songbook, which contains the words to hundreds of songs, some quite bawdy, to be sung to popular melodies, identified in small type beneath the title of each song.

The two other double dos-à-dos bindings mentioned above are: a calf gilt binding on an undated [ca. 1690?] edition of the same songbooks in the Bodleian Library (shelfmark Broxb. 1.27); and a gold-tooled vellum binding on a 1726-1728 edition of the same, from the Cornelius Hauck collection, sold at Christie’s New York , 28 June 2006, lot 387. STCN 168606682 and 24067006X, locating only the British Library copy outside the Netherlands. Item #2994

Price: $12,500.00

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