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Alle de Wercken 1726

Title: Alle de Wercken van den Heere Jacob Cats; Ridder, oudt raadtpensionaris van Hollandt. &c. Waar in het Twee-en-tachtig Jaarig Leeven des Dichters; beneffens desselfs Slaapeloose Nachten, met Printverbeeldingen sijn verrijkt. Eerste [Tweede] Deel.

Jacob Cats (1577-1660).

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T'Amsterdam, By Johannes Ratelband, de Weduwe Jan van Heekeren, Hermanus Uytwerf, Isaak van der Putte, 's Gravenhage, Pieter van Thol en Pieter Husson. MDCCXXVI (1726).
Large folio (16.5x10 inches).

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This is the fifth folio edition of Cats' collected works. According to the publisher's preface, it is the first edition to include illustrations to "82-jarig leeven" and "slapeloze nachten". It also features restored and re-engraved plates, resulting in illustrations that are clearer and darker than those in immediately preceding editions.

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Jacob Cats was a prolific writer of emblem books and didactic verse whose works were exceedingly popular and continue to be reprinted regularly. His nickname "Vader" (or "Vadertje") Cats, i.e. "Father Cats" indicates the respect and affection the Dutch had and have for him. Cats started his career practicing law in The Hague, but eventually settled in the province of Zeeland. He was pensionary of Middelburg and later Dordrecht, and from 1636 to 1651 was grand pensionary (raadspensionaris) of Holland.



The work is copiously illustrated with the famous engravings by Swelinc, Hondius, Matham, et al., mostly after Adriaan v.d. Venne: In part one, an engraved title, full-page portrait of Cats by Natalis, and 281 in-text engravings, some nearly full-page (on title pages of individual parts), including "Kinderspel", "Galathea", etc. In part two, an engraved title incorporating a portrait of cats, full-page portrait of Anna Maria Schuurmans, two additional full-page engraved titles (Ouderdom, Aspasia), three double-page engravings, one full-page engraving, and 145 additional in-text engravings, of different sizes (of which the last 12, by Jan Goeree, apparently new to this edition). The two printed title pages in red and black each has a large (repeated) vignette by Goeree. The preliminary matter is followed by the following works:

* Sinne- en Minne-beelden
* Emblemata Moralia & Oeconomica
* Self-stryt
* Tooneel der Mannelyke achtbaerheyt
* Houwelick, dat is, het gansche beleyt des Echten-staets
* Wegwyser ten Houwelyk uit den Doolhof der Kalverliefde; tweede deel. Vryster
* Houwelyks derde deel; zynde 't eerste Deel van 't Christelyck Huys-Wijf
* Houwelyks vierde deel, Vrouwe, wesende het tweede Deel van 't Christelijck Huys-Wijf.
* Houwelyks vyfde Deel; Moeder, wesende 't derde Deel van het Christelijck Huys-Wijf.
* Houwelijkcs sesde Deel; Weduwe, wesende 't vierde Deel van het Christelijck Huis-Wijf
* Galathea, of Herders Minneklagt
* Klagende Maegden
* Spiegel van den Ouden en Nieuwen Tijdt
* Spiegel vanden Voorleden en Teegenwoordigen tijdt Tweede Deel
* Spiegel van den Voorleden en Tegenwoordigen Tijt. Derde Deel.
* indices to works in part 1
* preliminary matter to part 2
* 's Weerelds begin, midden en eynde, besloten in den Trouringh
* Proef-steen van den Trouringh, Tweede Deel
* Proef-steen van den Trou-ringh, Derde Deel.
* Ouderdom en Buyten-leven. Eerste Deel
* Ouderdom en Buiten-leven. Tweede Deel
* Ouderdom en Buyten-leven. Derde Deel
* Hof-gedachten
* Invallende Gedachten op voorvallende Gelegentheden
* Aspasia
* Afbeeldinge van het Huwelick... onder de gedaante van een Fuyck
* Dood-kiste voor den levendigen
* Tachtig-jarige Bedenckingen
* Gedachten op slapeloose Nachten
* Het twee en tachtig-jarig Leven, van den Heere J. Cats

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The binding of this book, according to Dutch Bindings expert, Dr. Jan Storm van Leeuwen, is the work of the renouned Dutch bookbinder Johannes Stofvoet (1687-1749) and was probably executed not long after the book was published in 1726. Further research appears to confirm that this book is likely to have been bound before 1728, in which case it is one of the earliest examples of Stofvoet's work on record.

Bound in full contemporary brown leather, decorated boards of marbled and stained calf leather tooled in gold, panel design with the centerpiece made of small tools, spine with raised bands.
Mild age-toning, occasional light browning, scattered, mostly marginal, light foxing. One leaf misbound (pp. 359-360 between 364 and 365), a few repaired marginal tears. A few small inkstains. In very good shape overall. Nice copy of this classic of Dutch literature and golden age (emblematic) illustration.

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