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Tuesday 22 February 2022

Jost Amman’s etching, “May”, c1573

Jost Amman (aka Jost Ammon) (1539–1591)

“May”, c1573 (1554–1591), from the series of twelve plates in the format of semicircular segments, “The Months with Signs of the Zodiac” (aka “Les douze mois de l’année”), that I understand may have been designed for goldsmiths to use “in the decoration of the area bordering the rim of a bowl” (see

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 34.1 x 20.2 cm: (extremities of curved sheet) 7.2 x 26.7 cm.

New Hollstein (German) e.125; Andresen I.168.186; TIB (undescribed) but a description is offered for copies in reverse to the series by Monogrammist IA in vol., 20 (Part 1), cat. nos. 4.1–4.12 (pp. 37–42).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “May/ Gemini; segment of a circle with dancing and a feast in a landscape, a pergola with a group sitting around a table on the left, another used as a ballroom centre right. In the background a lake with a castle on an island. Gemini as two nude, winged children in the clouds, top left. Etching” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression, trimmed around the image borderline and laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper providing larger margins. The sheet is age-toned with areas of restoration (viz. the lower right corner) and minor abrasions and staining.

I am selling this remarkable etching of activities performed during the month of May—note that the history books may need to be rewritten as I see what seems to be a webbed tennis racquet being played with a ball by pairs of men on the far right … if I am correct, this tiny detail in the print may alter the current idea that such a racquet wasn’t invented until 1874—for AU$383 in total (currently US$277.02/EUR244.47/GBP203.74 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 rare etching by one of the most famous of the old master printmakers who is better known for his woodcut prints, 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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