Monumental documentation of the Habsburg tapestry collection, 1920
Ludwig BALDASS: DIE WIENER GOBELINSSAMMLUNG [The Vienna Tapestry Collection]. 301 plates with 271 tipped-in original gelatine silver prints and 30 halftone plates. 3 vol. Wien: 1920.
Ludwig BALDASS; Rudolf GUBY, Ed.: DIE WIENER GOBELINSSAMMLUNG [The Vienna Tapestry Collection]. Amtliche Ausgabe der österreichischen staatlichen Lichtbildstelle [Official Edition of The Austrian State Photo Agency]. 301 plates of black cardboard with 271 tipped-in original gelatine silver prints and 30 halftone plates, all with caption labels verso and scientific notes. 3 volumes. Wien: Hölzel 1920.
Imperial 4to (35:27,5 cm). [2 (title leaf)], 30 pages, numbered 1-6, 1-6, 1-8, 1-4, 1-5 , plates 1-100; 32 pages, numbered 1-4, 1-6, 1-6, 1-6, 1-4, plates 101-203; 38 pages, numbered 1-6, 1-6, 1-4, 1-4, 1-5 , 1-6, 1-5 , plates 204-301. Letterpress, gelatine silver prints and halt tone, bound in in contemporary half dark-brown morocco covers with corners and gilt ornamental spine title, light brown cloth boards with gilt blind ornamental framing, as well as gilt edges.
Richly illustrated and most comprehensive reference work of the world’s second largest tapestry collection, nowadays based in the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum and once inherited by the Habsburg court.
Contents: Present particularly rare edition contains of 271 original photographies and 30 halftone prints of 301 (of about 900) tapestries made in the regions of Brussels (16th – 18th ct.) or Lorraine (18th ct.), once accumulated by the Habsburg emperors while controlling those territories. Each of the captions contain information about the title, date and place of production as well as inventory number. The exhaustive descriptions of art historian Ludwig Baldass also quote the measurements of the tapestries.
Condition: All traceable copies are loose sets of plates in publisher’s portfolios with wrappers, i.e. like published. Our copy instead is skilfully bound in solid and elegant half morocco, though lacking the original wrappers. Joints in parts professionally enforced with underlying leather and with some little wear, otherwise very fine.
Rarity: Present edition was published in 300 numbered copies only, however our copy is without numbering. ABPC, Drouot Digital, LotSearch and JAP record 5 sets at auction since the 1970s (2006, 1988, 1987, 1984 (2), none of them bound like present.