Monday, 1 January 2018

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “The Descendants of Lamech”, 1583


Jan Sadeler I (aka Johannes Sadeler; Johann Sadeler) 1550–1600)

“The Descendants of Lamech” (TIB title), 1583, after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (1532–1603), plate 9 from the series of 12 plates, “The Story of the First Men”.

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed at (or slightly within) the platemark and lined on an archival support sheet.
Size: (sheet trimmed unevenly) 20 x 25.8 cm; (image borderline) 19 x 25.6 cm
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Ioan: Sadl: inue: et scalps:”; (centre, on stone) "GENES: IIII"; (lower centre right) “M. de vos figuravit”
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two columns of two lines in Latin: “Excæpit Lamech ex bina coniuge ... / ... , natamque Noemam."
State i (of ii) before numbering with “9” to the left.

TIB 7001.025 S1 (Isabelle de Ramaix & Walter L Strauss (eds.) 1999, “The Illustrated Bartsch 70, Part 1 [Supplement], Johan Sadeler I”, vol. 70, Part 1, Abaris Books, p. 44); Nagler 1835–52, no. 19; Le Blanc, no. 39; Wurzbach, no. 8.9; Hollstein 1980, vol. 21, no. 25; Edquist, p. 7, no. 11a.


Condition: crisp and well-printed lifetime (first state) impression but with restorations to areas of abrasion and with patches of pale staining. The sheet is not in superb condition. The sheet has been trimmed and laid upon a support sheet showing signs of use (marks) (verso).

I am selling this lifetime impression of a very rare but age weary print for the total cost of AU$313 (currently US$244.32/EUR203.74/GBP180.91 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably detailed and important print featuring a sequence of biblical scenes within a single composition, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


For those unfamiliar with the biblical figure, Lamech, shown towards the centre of this image, he is the sixth-generation descendant of Cain and most interestingly the first polygamist cited in the Bible (see Genesis 4:18).

From my reading of the small vignette scenes to the right of Lamech, the dead chap in the distance has been freshly killed by Lamech and the scene in the middle-distance featuring man with a lance in his back is another that Lanech didn’t quite kill but has wounded—somewhat noticeably I should add. In the foreground, Lamech has come to tell his two wives—Adah and Zillah—about his proclivity for killing chaps: “Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man … and a young man to my hurt.” (Genesis 4: 23).







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