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Saturday 6 August 2022

Jan Sadeler I’s engraving, “Title-Plate: Oraculum Anachoreticum”, c1600, after Maarten de Vos

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

“Title-Plate: Oraculum Anachoreticum”, 1595–1600, title-page to the series of 25 engravings, “Oraculum Anachoreticum: Hermits” (aka “Lives of the Hermits”), after a lost drawing by Maarten de Vos (aka Marten de Vos; Maerten de Vos) (1532–1603), published in Venice.

Engraving on laid paper with wide margins backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 25.7 x 32.3 cm; (plate) 16.6 x 20.7 cm; (image borderline) 15.4 x 20.7 cm.

Lettered in plate above the image borderline in two columns of two lines: “Templa vetusta …/ …// …/ …subbesse facit.”

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (lower left) “Cum priuil/ Sumi Pont. et Cæs. Maies”; (centre) “ORACVLVM ANACHORETICVM/ REQVIES/ ANIMAE”; (left of centre) “OBEDIENTIA”; (right of centre) “HVMILITAS”; (lower right) “Marti de Vos figur./ Ioa Sadeler scalpsit Venetijs.”

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: “SANCTISSIMO [coat-of-arms of Pope Clement VIII] PATRI NOSTRO./ D. CLEMENTI VIII […] PONTci. OPTo. MAXmo./ ANo. D. MDC [1600]”

State i (of i)

TIB 7001. 407 (Isabelle de Ramaix 2001, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 70, Part 2 [Supplement], New York, Abaris Books, p. 273, cat. no. [7001].407); Hollstein (Johann Sadeler I) 437 (Dieuwke de Hoop Scheffer [comp.] 1980, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Aegidius Sadeler to Raphael Sadeler II: text”, vol. 21, Amsterdam, Van Gendt & Co, cat. no. 437); Hollstein (Vos) 1050 (Christiaan Schuckman [comp.] 1996, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450–1700: Maarten de Vos: text”, vol. 44, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Rijksprentenkabinet, cat. no. 1050); Edquist 79a (p. 69).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Title-page to 'Oraculum Anachoreticum'; a monument with Christ as the Good Shepherd labelled "REQVIES / ANIMAE" flanked by reliefs of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac labelled "OBEDIENTIA" (left) and David beheading Goliath labelled "HUMILITAS" (right); two personifications sit on either side before the monument by an oak and palm, labelled "PAX" (left) and the other holding his fingers to his lips and holding a book labelled "SILEN / TIUM" (right); after Maarten de Vos Engraving” (

Condition: a well-printed, lifetime impression (based on the quality of line showing no sign of wear to the printing plate) with wide margins around the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. There are printer’s creases (see lower margin and within the image) the sheet is in a good condition for its considerable age with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this sensitively executed and very beautiful engraving by one of the most famous of the Flemish old masters, for AU$296 (currently US$204.62/EUR200.93/GBP169.50 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 seldom seen title-plate to a series of twenty-five engravings of hermits, 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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