Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 23 August 2019

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

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

“The Descendants of Lamech”, 1583, after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (1532–1603), plate 9 from the series of twelve plates, “The Story of the First Men”, published in Antwerp by Jan Sadeler I.

Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 20.1 x 26 cm; (image borderline) 19.1 x 25.8 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Ioan: Sadl: inue: et scalps: […] 9”; (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 of Latin text: “Excæpit Lamech ex bina coniuge .../...// …/ …natamque Noemam."
State ii (of ii) with the addition of the number “9”.

TIB 7001.025 S2 (Isabelle de Ramaix (ed.) 1999, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Johan Sadeler I”, vol. 70, Part 1 (Supplement), New York, 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.

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
“Lamech and his two women, left in the foreground, sitting in front of their house. In the foreground on the right the children Tubal-Cain and Ada. In the foreground left the children Jabal and Naäma. Lamech swears he will never be killed. Two corpses are found in the background. The print has a Latin signature.”

See also the description of this print at the British Museum:
“Plate 9: Lamech and his two wifes [sic]. Landscape with Lamech at centre, talking to his two wives Adah and Zillah seated in front of a farm-house at left, one of whom shades herself with a parasol of leaves, two children playing music at far left, two other children in foreground, Lamech again beyond standing next to a dead man, a wide landscape with mountains in background.”

Condition: crisp and well-printed impression, trimmed around the image borderline and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in near perfect condition apart from a restored spot in the clouds at upper right.

Note that this is the second copy of this print that I have listed (the earlier copy has been sold).

I am selling this superb impression of a very rare engraving, showing Lamechthe first polygamist cited in the Bible (see Genesis 4:18)—confessing to his wives that he has killed two men (Genesis 4: 23), for the total cost of AU$423 (currently US$285.98/EUR258.30/GBP234.26 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 ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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