Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

Selected Highlights


Knuf Rare Books
18 rue de la Barrière
F-41800 Lavardin


Anita van Elferen


+33622732385 +33622732385



One of earliest books on playing cards
BREITKOPF, JOHANN GOTTLOB IMMANUEL. Versuch, den Ursprung der Spielkarten, die Einfürhung des Leinenpapiers, und den Anfang der Holzschneidekunst in Europa zu Erforschen. Leipzig: J. G. I. Breitkopf, 1784 & Leipzig, Koch und Compagnie, 1801 2 volumes 8vo. Volume 1: quarter calf, marbled paper covered boards, five raised bands, gilt on spine. Isolated minimal foxing, binding cover scuffed around edges, some chipping along the edges of the covers. Volume 2: loose unbound signatures. (iv), 136 pages; (v), vi-xxii,218 pages. Parts of the unbound book are uncut. Minor foxing throughout. Held together in a custom-made clamshell box. First edition. One of the first books which systematically deals with playing cards, their production including paper, use and card history. The first volume, printed in 1784, contains panels of pictures of 21 tarot cards, German Piquet cards from the 15th and 17th century, patterns of German costumes, as well as examples of Chinese card and board games. The second chapter is illustrated with pictures of a Japanese papermill, as well as a German watermark. The very rare second volume of the interesting guide has a subtitle (translated into English from the German) of "Review to a history of the art of writing ..." and was published by J.C.F. Roch. This volume deals only with the art of writing, carving and illumination. It contains the "Research on the origin of wood-engraving, papers from 'Writing and Penmanship', 'Paintings in the Churches', 'Mosaic Painting and their Use in the Churches', and 'Stained Glass and Painting in Manuscripts.' Johann Breitkopf (1719-1794) was an 18th-century Leipzig printer, type-founder, and bookseller who is credited by some with the invention of map-printing with moveable type. He introduced great improvements to letterpress music-types, and was an acquaintance of Goethe, some of whose earlier poems he set to music. [cf Bigmore-Wyman I, 81-82; Schlosser Exhibition Catalogue on papermaking, Boston Public Library, 1969, #18 for the 2 volume paper history].
Exhibitor: Knuf Rare Books

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Amstelodami Celeberrimi Hollandiae Emporii Delineatio Nova, Johannes Blaeu, 1649


Stichting Europese Antiquarenbeurs, 2019
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