Monday 13 April 2020
Harmen Jansz. Muller’s engraving, “Hirah the Adullamite with the Kid”, c.1566, after Maarten van Heemskerck
Harmen Jansz. Muller (1540–1617)
“Hirah the Adullamite with the Kid” (aka “Hirah the Adullamite with the Kid, Inquiring for the Harlot”; “Judah Orders Hira to Search for the Prostitute”), c.1566, after a drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck (aka Maarten van Veen; Martin Heemskerk) (1498–1574), plate 2 from the series of 4 engravings, “History of Judah and Tamar”, published by Claes Jansz. Visscher (II) (1586–1652) in Amsterdam (1643–46).
Engraving on fine laid paper watermark (“Arms of Amsterdam”?) and faded handwritten notes in brown ink by an old hand in lower margin, backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 29.1 x 33.3 cm; (plate) 21 x 26.4 cm; (image borderline) 19.7 x 26 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower right corner) “2/ MH [interlaced] eemskerck Inuen/ HMVL [interlaced] fe,”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: “HAVD MORA PROMISSIS STAT IVDAS MITTIT ET HOEDVM AT SCORTVM HOC HÆSISSE LOCO CVNCTI ORE NEGABA[N]T/ Gene. 38.20.”
State ii (of ii) with the addition of the plate number “2”.
New Hollstein (Muller) 6-2 (2) (Ger Luijten & Christiaan Schuckman [eds.] 1999, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: The Muller Dynasty”, vol. 1, Rotterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, p. 87, cat. no. 6); New Hollstein (Heemskerck) 40-2 (2) (Ilja Veldman [comp.] 1993–94, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450–1700: Maarten van Heemskerck”, vol. 1, Roosendaal, Koninklijke Van Poll, p. 51, cat. no. 40).
The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print (state ii):
(transl.) “Judah orders his friend Hira to give a billy goat as a payment to the prostitute while pointing out the departing Tamar. Hira holds the goat under his arm and will search for the prostitute, but not find her. At the bottom of the margin a reference in Latin to the Bible text in Gen. 38:20”
See also the description of this print at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Condition: well-printed impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate with wide margins on the upper, lower and right sides and faded handwritten notes in brown ink by an old hand in lower margin. There are spot stains (e.g. in the upper foliage left-of-centre), handling marks in the margins and tears that have been addressed by the sheet having been laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.
I am selling this exceedingly rare print executed by the father of Jan Harmensz. Muller for AU$233 (currently US$149.58/EUR136.66/GBP119.10 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 scene of a father-in-law (the chap pointing) who slept with his daughter-in-law (the young woman with a staff) after mistaking her for a prostitute–mistakes happen!–directing his friend to deliver a billy goat as payment for her services with the hope of having the security on her services returned (viz. his seal, its cord, and staff), please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. (My apologies if my account of the Biblical story of Judah and Tamar [Genesis 38] has too many inaccuracies.)
This print has been sold