including 63 fine hand-painted coats of arms, highlighted in gilt, many inscribed by their subjects, 37 paintings and two other drawings, almost exclusively in gouache on vellum, including 13 landscapes and scenes (in the style of Friedrich Brentel), together with 26 dated portraits of kings, princes, popes, young ladies, courtesans and other people in costume, with the hand-painted title "Phil[o]theca Nicolaus Junckers. Gratiæ ac Favori cuiuscumque status, ac eminentiæ virorum, conferiata Argentinæ, An: Dno. 1628, Men: Octobri"
209 leaves, oblong 8vo (c. 75 x 100mm.), 125 on vellum, together with some 25 blank leaves, fine contemporary red morocco elaborately gilt, borders and rosettes to covers and spine, two gilt and metal clasps, Strassburg, Paris, Bourges, Rome, Venice, Bologna, Malta, Madrid, London, Leiden, Regensburg, Vienna and elsewhere, 1628-1642, corners rubbed at hinges, a few inscriptions slightly trimmed at the right-hand margins
This is an unusually fine and early "album amicorum", notable for its extremely detailed gouaches executed on vellum. Nicolaus Juncker of Strassburg is a name unknown to us, but, if he is the artist, he is worthy of further study.
The gouaches are extremely detailed and fine, unsigned, but in the style of Friedrich Brentel (1580-1651). Most are precisely dated. They include depictions of Strassburg (1628 & 1630), the Diet of Regensburg on 9 September 1641, St Peter's Rome (1632), Siena (1633), four views of Venice (1632), and many figures in costume, including in commedia dell'arte attire. Most appear to be the work of a single hand (presumably Juncker himself), but one drawing is signed "In Malta, den 26 April 1634, Jo[h]an. G. Schürer".
There is a remarkable series of sixty-three finely executed coats of arms, some of which appear to be inscribed by the subjects rather than by Juncker himself. They include Henri II of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1588-1646), Louis of Bourbon, Cardinal Antonio Barberini (1607-1671), Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brandenburg, Maurice Prince Palatine, and many other mainly German princes and electors.
There are several portraits of royal couples done on location, with the dates (or month) and cities precisely specified. They include likenesses of King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria (April 1630), King Philip IV of Spain and Queen Isabella (August 1634), King Charles I and Henrietta Maria (10 November 1634), Pope Urban VIII (21 February 1634), Emperor Ferdinand III and Maria of Spain (Vienna, August 1641), the Elector Palatine (21 October 1640), the Doge of Venice (23 October 1632) and others.
The entries plot Nicolaus Juncker's travels throughout Europe, starting in Strassburg in 1628-1630, with extended stays in Paris (April 1630-1631), Bourges (1631-1632), Italy (1632-1634) and Leiden (1634-1636), with shorter visits to Madrid and London. There is a gap before further visits to Munich, Vienna, Regensburg and Spier are traced in 1640-1642. The vellum and paper leaves appear to have been bound up shortly thereafter, as the binding, which is in remarkably good condition, is evidently contemporary with the contents.
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