Catalog Archive
Auction 100, Lot 504

"[Lot of 2 - Dance of Death]", Hollar, Wenceslaus

Subject: Miscellany

Period: 1816 (published)

Publication: The Dance of Death

Color: Hand Color

2.2 x 2.8 inches
5.6 x 7.1 cm

Two copperplate engravings from this fascinating work based upon Holbein's original 15th century designs. Wenceslaus Hollar, a Bohemian etcher, created the copper plates for the original publication in 1647. The plates then disappeared until the late 18th century, when several editions from the "newly discovered" plates began to appear. These are from an edition published by J. Coxhead. Although the traditional Dance of Death goes back to the Middle Ages, Hans Holbein altered the medieval concept to show the omnipresence and universality of death. These two plates (24 and 25 in the series) show Death confronting a miser while he is counting his wealth, and unexpectedly descending on a peasant waggoner. Includes a sheet of text with the explanations for each plate.


Condition: A+

Superb original color.

Estimate: $180 - $200

Sold for: $130

Closed on 9/12/2002