Costumes of the world

[Amman, Jost/Weigel, Hans. Habitus praecipuorum populorum, tam virorum quam foeminarum singulari arte depicti. Trachtenbuch darin fast allerley und der furnembsten Nationen die heutigs tags bekandt sein.

Nuremberg, Hans Weigel, 1577].

Folio (204 x 325 mm). 161 (instead of 220) hand-numbered woodcut plates in early 18th-century colour, mounted on backing paper and missing parts supplemented by hand. Later half calf with 18th-c. spine label. All edges sprinkled in red.


First edition of Jost Amman's encyclopedic book of costumes. A strongly fragmented copy, as usual; in the early 19th century, the plates were mounted on backing paper by the owner, the trained landscape painter Jakob Linckh (1786-1841) from Stuttgart (cf. Thieme/B. 23, 254), who also coloured the volume throughout and supplemented all missing parts of the images and even of the text by hand. Linckh, who had studied in Rome, visited Greece in 1810. There he met Byron, who commissioned him to provide the illustrations for Hobhouse's travel book.

Wants 59 plates altogether; the remainder are trimmed closely at the upper edge, and most have severe defects in the lower half. Although the present collection begins with the plate showing the Emperor, as originally issued, the remaining woodcuts follow no apparent order. 20 plates show costumes of Turkey, Arabia, Persia, Egypt, and Ethiopia; others depict Greeks, Russians, and Englishmen. 28 plates show the costumes of today's Italy; German cities are well represented, as are France and Spain, Bohemia and Hungary. Also includes the famous picture of the Brazilian Tupinamba Indians: a man with a crown and belt of feathers, a knife, and a bow and arrow, beside a long-haired woman carrying a baby in a knotted sling. The illustration is an adaptation of two cuts from the "Recueil de la diversité des habits" (Paris, 1562; Antwerp, 1572) by Francois Descerpz, "one of the first likenesses of the Brazilian Indian" (Borba de Moraes).

Title page shows Jakob Linckh's autograph ownership (dated 1825); somewhat later stamped ownership of Anton Franzin (possibly the like-named Tyrolean law clerk, c. 1840) to flyleaf.

VD 16, W 1487 (BSB copy incomplete). Lipperheide 7-8 (both copies incomplete). Andresen I, 234. Becker 140. Borba de Moraes II, 373f. Maggs, Bibl. Americana 1-214 ("This book is excessively rare in a complete state").