Auction 122, Lot 841

"[Lot of 2 - Dance of Death] Plate XXVII. The Gamesters [and] Plate VIII. The Queen", Hollar, Wenceslaus

Subject: Prints Miscellaneous

Period: 1816 (published)

Publication: The Dance of Death

Color: Hand Color

2 x 2.5 inches
5.1 x 6.4 cm

Pair of 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. The lot includes a page of narrative for each in English and French.

1) The Gamester. Death and the Devil are fighting over who gets the losing card-player.
2) The Empress. A shrouded Death holding his hourglass leads the struggling Empress off to her grave, while her maids struggle to hold her back.


Condition: A+

Both lovely impressions with nice color.

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $110

Closed on 12/5/2007