Auction 140, Lot 6

"[Untitled - Frontispiece]",

Subject: Frontispiece

Period: 1540 (circa)

Publication: Le Sorti … Giardino de Pensieri…

Color: Black & White

7.8 x 9.8 inches
19.8 x 24.9 cm

This elaborate woodcut is the frontispiece to Francesco Marcolini's famous fortune-telling book, Le Sorti...Giardino de Pensieri (The Fates...Garden of Ideas), one of the earliest known documents about cartomancy (divination with cards). Engraved by Giuseppe Porta, whose imprint appears at bottom right, the scene was closely copied from an engraving by Marco Dente. Whereas Dente's original engraving depicted a gathering of scientists with a book depicting stars and planets in the foreground, Porta altered the image to show pages from Marcolini's book with a pack of playing cards beside it in order to represent a group of fortune-telling enthusiasts. The three women in the foreground are believed to be the three Parcae, or Fates, who were the female personifications of destiny.


Condition: A

A nice dark impression with trimmed margins, still adequate for framing. Library stamp on verso.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $150

Closed on 5/23/2012