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Sunday 16 December 2018

Crispijn de Passe the Elder’s engraving, “Nocturnal Serenade”, c1617, after Sebastiaan Vranckx

Crispijn de Passe I (aka Crispin Van de Passe; Crispin De Passe) (1564–1637)

“Nocturnal Serenade”. c1617, after Sebastiaan Vranckx (aka Sebastian Vrancx; Sebastiaan Franks; Sebastiaan Franck) (1573–1647), illustration (plate 10) to “Nieuwen ieucht spieghel” (New Mirror for Youth), published in 1617 (arguably by Jan Jansz.), p. 65. The Emblem Project Utrecht offers an online view of all the illustrations in this publication:; and details about this print:

Engraving with etching on fine laid paper, backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 15 x 21 cm; (plate) 9.7 x 14.2 cm; (image borderline) 8.6 x 13.9 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline in two lines of Latin text in two columns:
"Arreptis fidibus, noctu grassantur in vrbe,/ Facturi, socij, grata puella, tibi.// Offensi vigiles at membra ferocia mulctans/ Fustibus. I nunc, et disce manere domi.”
(Google transl. “Catching strings and violence in the city of night, / do, associates, dear girl, tibi.// offended members of the police but was checked mulctans / clubs. 1 now, and they learn to stay at home.”

Ilja M Veldman 2001, “Profit and pleasure: print books by Crispijn de Passe”, Rotterdam, Sounds & Vision, p. 165, n. 14, fig. 51
See also: M A Katritzky 2006, “The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia Dell'Arte 1560-1620 with Special Reference to the Visual Records”, Amsterdam, Rodopi, p. 472.

Condition: crisp, well-inked and well-printed impression (undoubtedly a lifetime impression based on the strength of the printed lines and the still visible guidelines for the lettered text) backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds—apart from a flattened fold of the lower right corner—abrasions, significant stains—there are a few dots—or foxing).

I am selling this small and rare emblem print showing the dual incursions to the peace at night of a musical serenade portrayed in the foreground and street violence portrayed in the distance, for AU$192 in total (currently US$137.95/EUR121.96/GBP109.58 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this fascinating engraving from the early 1600s incorporating small narratives within a bigger scene, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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