2 SELS, W.H. Salomon, Koning van Israël. Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: 15 beautifully coloured and gold-highlighted engravings in splendid Amsterdam binding

SELS, Willem Hendrik.
Salomon, Koning van Israël. In XII boeken.

Amsterdam, F. de Kruyff, A. van der Kroe, 1765[-1768]. 4to (23.5 x 17.5 cm; binding 24.5 x 19.5 x 4 cm). Contemporary richly gold-tooled dark olive morocco, gold-tooled board edges and turn-ins, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, green ribbon marker, headbands worked in green, pink and white. By the so-called "Three Acorn Bindery" in Amsterdam. Probably coloured and bound as a presentation copy, but with no inscription. With engraved allegorical frontispiece, 12 engraved plates (facing the openings of books I-XII and bearing the book numbers), a small engraved scene on the title-page and armorial engraving above the dedication. All engravings were made for this edition, most drawn and engraved by Reinier Vinkeles. All engravings coloured by a contemporary hand with liberal use of gold. [22], 292 pp.

Beautifully coloured copy, with liberal use of gold and in a splendidly gold-tooled contemporary binding, of the first and only edition of Sels's nearly 300-page verse rendition of the story of King Solomon, dedicated to former Amsterdam Burgomaster Jan Calkoen and with a poem explaining the frontispiece by B. Roeloffs. Though dated 1765 on the title-page, the book may have been published in parts, for the engraved plates are dated 1766 to (in books 9 and 11) 1768. All 12 plates were beautifully drawn and engraved by the young Reinier Vinkeles (1741-1816), who engraved the frontispiece and arms after drawings by J. de Bosch. They are among his earliest work, begun when he was about 24, but already show the accomplishment that was to make his name after his 1770/71 stay in Paris.
Sels (1741-1789), originally a bookkeeper for the Amsterdam exchange bank, withdrew to his family estate to write poetry. He enthusiastically supported the failed democratic "Patriot's" revolution of 1787. The present poem serves largely as a vehicle for Vinkeles's illustrations. All 15 engravings are beautifully coloured with a wide variety of bright colours and liberal use of gold, and highlighted with gum arabic or shellac, practically turning them into paintings. Contemporary guard leaves are bound in before the 12 plates and frontispiece. The lovely binding is very similar to that shown in Storm van Leeuwen, colour plate 31, by an anonymous Amsterdam workshop that the author calls the "Three Acorn Bindery." Storm van Leeuwen kindly informs us that the binding illustrated (from the Dutch Royal Library) and the present one are the only "Three Acorn" bindings known to him with a centrepiece in this style. The extra attention given to the colouring of the illustrations, together with the contemporary deluxe binding strongly suggests a presentation binding, but there is no inscription or indication of an early owner.
In fine condition. The binding is slightly worn, mostly at the corners, but still very good. A beautifully bound and coloured copy, appropriately displaying Vinkeles's stunning engravings.
E. de la Fontaine Verwey, Illustraties, 156; for Sels: NNBW VII, cols. 1134-1135; for Vinkeles: Scheen, pp. 550-551; for the binding: cf. J. Storm van Leeuwen, Dutch Decorated Bookbinding I, colour plate 31 (facing p. 122).
  • Number: 1060128 (G1TDKA77FM2A)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum