Emblemata politica in aula magna Curiae Noribergensis depicta. [Nuremberg: Iselburg], 1617.
Bound with: BRUCK-ANGERMUNDT, Jacobus à (ca. 1580-after 1622). Decades duae anagrammatum et emblematum. Ex nomine Illustris ... Dn. Andreae Kochticzky ... Concinnatorum. Strassburg: Anton Bertram for the author, 1615.
2 vols. in one, 4to (194 x 154 mm). Iselburg:  leaves, comprising engraved title, trimmed to platemark and mounted (on a verso, the leaf frayed), engraved armorial dedication leaf with arms of members of the Nuremberg Senate, letterpress dedication (1 leaf), 1 blank leaf, and letterpress explanation of the emblems (3 leaves); 32 engraved plates of emblems by and after Iselburg. Minor marginal staining to first 3 plates. Bruck-Angermundt:  leaves. 20 etched emblems in the text; woodcut tailpieces and initials, typographic headpieces. Abrasion to a fols. D3v and D4v, affecting a few letters. Contemporary parchment over flexible pasteboards, manuscript spine title (recased, replaced upside-down, covers bowed). ***
A Sammelband of two emblem books, the first self-published by the artist; the second, privately printed, uniting two favorite seventeenth-century pastimes or modes of expression, anagrams and emblems.
I. First Edition of Iselburg’s popular emblem book, based on paintings in the great hall of the Nuremberg Town Hall. Mottos like Minor esca maioris (The smaller is the food of the bigger), illustrated by a big fish snacking on a little one, embody moral precepts, explained in the Latin verses engraved below the emblems, and in the letterpress German text by Georg Remus; side-notes cite the classical and other literary sources. Iselburg designed the delightful emblems, engraved them, and printed the edition. Twelve emblems show animals, including realistic depictions of birds. Views of Nuremberg appear on a scroll at the foot of the engraved title, and in emblem no. 17.
NUC lists 6 US copies. VD17 23:233402W; Thieme-Becker 19: 265; Praz, 381; Landwehr German, 372.
II. Only edition of a playful Neolatin tribute from a humanist tutor to his aristocratic patron in Silesia (now Poland), combining anagrams and emblems, privately printed for the author’s friends and students.
The 20 anagrammatic mottos are all composed from various spellings of the name and title of Freiherr Andreas Kochticzky (e.g., Andreas Kochtitius Liber Baro, with some cheating as Latin contains no K’s). Kochticzky (or Kochticzki), born ca. 1568, was the well-educated scion of one of the oldest and wealthiest noble families of Upper Silesia. In his 20s, after his father’s death, he completed construction of the family castle in Koschentin, installing there his private library, the largest and most important of the region. During his colorful but ultimately tragic life he served as governor of a Silesian duchy and as officer in the service of his co-religionist the Protestant Friedrich V of the Palatinate. When Kochticzky handed over the town of Cosel to the Protestant Union in 1626, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II charged him with treason, and he and his son Andreas Jr. lost the entirety of their lands and goods. Both then entered service with the Swedes. Kochticzky père participated in the Battle of Breitenfeld, the Protestants’ first major victory of the Thirty Years War; soon after he fell into the hands of the Imperial forces, and in spite of his status as royal Swedish councilor, was imprisoned in Vienna, where he died in 1634.
Jacob Bruck-Angermundt, humanist and jurist, was tutor to several aristocratic Silesian families, living for several years with the Kochticzky family in Schloss Koschentin. His own preliminary dedicatory poem to Kochticzky is followed by four poems by others, all Silesian aristocrats, probably his pupils: Johann Bernhard von Maltzan-Warttenberg, Johann Georg Czigan, and two of Kochticzky’s sons. A dedicatory poem to the author is by a humanist peer, Valentin Arithmaeus (1587-1620).
Bruck’s twenty anagrammatic emblems are preceded by an essay on anagrams, a sort of how-to guide with examples; it includes a short section on numerology. For each emblem he proposes two anagrams. Beneath each emblem is a brief explanatory text, with a longer exegesis on the facing verso. The fine unsigned etchings show emblematic objects in the foreground of delicate distant landscapes.
Privately printed for the dedicatee and presumably distributed to Bruck’s circle of Silesian humanists, this is the rarest of his four emblem books. VD17 and OCLC record only one copy, at the University of Rostock. VD17 28:743858L. Not in Praz, Landwehr, or NUC.
NB: photos 1-8 are of Iselburg; the remaining photos of Bruck-Angermundt. Item #4222