Lot 610
  • 610

Newcastle, William Cavendish, Duke of

Estimate
6,000 - 8,000 USD
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Description

  • Autograph letter signed ("W: Newcastle"), to an unnamed Dutchman
  • paper
Petitioning the Estates General of the United Provinces for "a previledge for my Booke, I can nott conseave anye prejudice att all to their Lordships In Itt" and promising that in return "if the Kinge Coumes In to Englande I maye doe them as much Service," one page, 4to (203 x 155 mm), integral blank, Antwerp, 2 August 1657; fold tears neatly repaired. Green cloth folding-box and morocco-backed slipcase.

Provenance

John R.B. Brett-Smith (Sotheby's, 27 May 2004, lot 368). acquisition: Purchased at the foregoing sale through Bernard Quaritch

Catalogue Note

An attractive autograph letter concerning Newcastle's celebrated book on horsemanship. Newcastle was a Royalist who spent fifteen years in exile in Europe, where much of his time was dedicated to horsemanship. He converted a room in Rubens's house in Antwerp into a riding school and provided a remarkable contribution to equestrian literature in the form of the sumptuous La méthode nouvelle et Invention extraordinaire de dresser les chevaux. This letter, written the year before the book went to press, reveals Newcastle exploring his options. His substantial folio volume was to have more than forty engraved plates after the Flemish artist Abraham van Diepenbeeck so required printing of the highest standards. He evidently hoped to find a printer in the Netherlands, which was both a great center of printing and England's greatest trading partner — thus giving key access to the English market. Newcastle's comment that he could not see "anye prejudice" in allowing the printing was disingenuous: the book was dedicated to the exiled Charles II so publication would certainly not have been looked on with favor by the Commonwealth government. Newcastle's petition was not successful and his book was printed in Antwerp by Jacques van Meurs. Newcastle's correspondent may have been John De Witt.
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