An inaugural work of Polish adoration of the Virgin Mary, jubilee edition, 1717

Augustyn KORDECKI: NOVA GIGANTOMACHIA (…). 3rd imprint. Illustrated woodcut titel and frontispiece, as well as 2 copper engravings in the text. Częstochowa: 1717.

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Augustyn KORDECKI: NOVA GIGANTOMACHIA, Contra Sacram Imaginem DEIPARAE VIRGINIS à Sancto LUCA depictam, Et in Monte Claro Częstochoviensi apud Religiosos Patres Ordinis S. PAULI Primi Eremitae, in Celeberrimo Regni Poloniae Coenobio collocatam. Per Svecos, & alios Haerticos excitata (…). 3rd imprint. Title leaf with printed title (recto) and woodcut illustration (verso), both framed with woodcut ornamental and illustrated borders resp., 2 copper engravings in the text, as well as 12 illustrated woodcut head-pieces, vignettes and initials. Częstochowa: Typis Clari-Montis 1717. Foolscap-8to. [6 (title, frontispiece, dedication, preface,)], 146 pages. Contemporary full mottled leather binding on 5 waste bands with gilt spine title.

Jubilee edition of this inaugural work of Polish adoration of the Virgin Mary, published on the occasion of the official coronation of the Częstochowa „Black Madonna“ icon with the blessing of Pope Clement XI in the year 1717. (The 1st edition of »Nova Gigantomachia« had been printed in 1657 in Cracow with a different, copper engraved title page and one additional copper engraved plate (showing the „Black Madonna“), but lacks the richly illustrated frontispiece of this 3rd imprint (compared with the digitalised copies of the 1657 edition of the Lithuanian Art Fund, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Brno Franciscans library). The author of the book, Abbot Augustyn Kordecki, prior of the Jasna Góra Monastery, were the icon is housed until today, had to overcome a siege by Swedish Protestants troops in November and December 1655. In the present memories of the events he claimed the protection of the Virgin Mary responsible for the victory and by this substantially strengthened the belief of her being the spiritual commander in chief of the Polish army, still a widespread belief in todays catholic Poland.

Book block with a few minor, mainly foxy stains, title leaf and also inside in parts with very small wormholes, p. 21f. and p. 125f. with little faults at bottom right corner, otherwise well preserved copy of this elegant print on high quality mould paper and with attractive engravings.

The book is particularly rare and very hard to find in all 4 editions (1655, 1694, 1717, 1775). According to WorldCat, KVK and Google only 3 copies of present 3rd edition are located in institutional holdings worldwide (Stabi Berlin, Czech and Polish National Libraries). JBP/JAP/APO shows no auction record at all since 1906.

Adam Kersten: Die Entstehungsgeschichte der Neuen Gigantomachia. In: Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skłodowska, Lublin-Polonia. Vol. X.1, Sectio F (1955), p. 19f.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg