January 04, 2006

‘Repræsentatio,’ etc.

Christmas was good here in provincial Sweden: my mother-in-law and Ms. A______ were with us from the 19th; we put up our tallest tree yet (it’s at least 12’ high); we dined on glazed ham & scalloped potatoes on Christmas Eve, and a full-scale roast turkey extravaganza on the big day. I was the lucky recipient of such gifts as a robot, and a few dozen cigars. From the 26th we had three days of snow: one of the heaviest falls we’ve yet seen in these parts.

Detail (1/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.
Detail (2/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.

On the 30th my mother and Mr. L_______ joined us. On New Year’s Eve I cooked jambalaya & bourbon-glazed pork; we dipped fruit in a chocolate fondue, and watched the sky light up with fireworks as more snow fell, and we saluted the turning year with the aid of a magnum of Bollinger. On New Year’s Day we played Clue Mysteries, and enjoyed slow-cooked roast-beef, after which we donned party-hats & lit some festbloss (sparklers).

Detail (3/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.
Detail (4/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.

Yesterday morning our guests all left, and I went back to work… None of which has anything to do with the images displayed here. These are details from some of the many eye-catching engravings by Georg Donauer, (based on designs by Balthasar Küchler), to be found in an on-line presentation of a book entitled Repræsentatio Der Fürstlichen Auffzug und Ritterspil… first published in Stuttgart in 1611.

Detail (5/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.
Detail (6/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.

The book seems to be a visual record of the lavish festivities staged in celebration of the marriage of Johann Friedrich Herzog von Württemberg and Barbara Sophie von Brandenburg, in November 1609. The majority of its illustrations depict figures on horseback or on foot variously attired in strange uniforms, or dressed up to portray mythological personages. Other pictures show elaborate ‘floats,’ with costumed figures masquerading therein or thereupon.

Detail (7/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.
Detail (8/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.

The book is one of many baroque ‘festival-books’ collected under the heading of Festkultur-Online at the Herzog August Bibliothek at Wolfenbüttel, an endeavour no less impressive than the Renaissance Festival Books exhibition presented last year by the British Library. I found the Repræsentatio after seeing a couple of curious images from it reproduced at peacay’s web-log Bibliodyssey a few weeks ago.

Detail (9/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.
Detail (10/10) from an engraving by Georg Donauer after a design by Balthasar Küchler from the 'Repræsentatio,' Stuttgart, 1611.

Click on the details above to see the relevant images in full. A happy new year to you all!

Posted by misteraitch at January 4, 2006 10:55 AM
Comments

(I always like reading your posts, but was surprised by how much I enjoyed hearing about the holidays. Those few brief details painted a picture of happy days...)

Posted by: on January 4, 2006 12:06 PM

misteraitch, your live bookmark feed doesn't load on my box, firefox run on linux.

Posted by: matthew on January 4, 2006 03:09 PM

matthew—I’ve made a few changes in an effort to fix the feed. Does it work for you now?

Posted by: misteraitch on January 4, 2006 03:39 PM

ah, relaxation, Bollinger, full bellies, some crazy etchings from the 1600's... good times by the sound of it.

a happy new year right back at'cha aitch. see you around.

Posted by: jmorrison on January 4, 2006 03:42 PM
"The 314 imprints from Wolfenbüttel mainly originate from the German-speaking area and date from the 16th to the beginning of the 18th century. The Warwick/BL project focused on French, Italian and English festival books, dating from 1475 till 1700."

Glad to see cooperation. It would be pretty silly to go to the expense and trouble only to find it elsewhere. I don't think I've seen tooo much repetition in relation to rare books - although the Diet Library in Japan has a mind (and labyrinthine site) of its own and has an interesting set of western material.

It sounds like you had a nice festivus. Many more glad tidings for the year ahead! You've picked out some nice example images there. I went through the whole book when you pointed it out. Great stuff, thanks.

Posted by: peacay on January 4, 2006 03:49 PM

Hi, no, it still doesn't work. Before there was an error message "live bookmark failed to load". Now in the feed menu a file icon (not an entry title text) loads but it doesn't load the site when I click.

Posted by: matthew on January 4, 2006 05:06 PM

Good to read about your culinary holidays!

Festbloss ("party torches") appears to be a rare dialectal word for sparklers. The standard Swedish word is tomtebloss, "gnome torches".

Posted by: Martin R on January 4, 2006 08:58 PM

Matthew: I think I’ve fixed the problem now (at the second attempt)—at least it’s working when I try it. Thanks for mentioning this.

Martin—I had no idea that festbloss was so obscure a term: it was the brand-name of the stuff we bought at one of the stores down here in deepest Blekinge…

Posted by: misteraitch on January 5, 2006 12:15 AM

Yes, good going, it works.

Posted by: matthew on January 5, 2006 02:19 AM

Festbloss & tomtebloss: how marvelous. I could go for gnome torches, though we have sparklers... I also had satisfyingly lavish festivities, though they won't be over until the last bite of royal feast at Epiphany. (Why stint on the 12 Days?) Happy new year--I look forward to the weird wonders of your page.

Posted by: marlyat2 on January 5, 2006 02:26 PM

I liked your blog, especially the paintings at the top right now. You may like my artworks too, in my blog
http://niquel757.blogspot.com
Best regards!
Javier

Posted by: Javier on January 18, 2006 04:44 AM

I would LOVE to get

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

but I can only assume that i am waaay too late??!

thanks!

Posted by: daniel on July 2, 2007 01:37 PM

Daniel—you guessed it; you’re way too late: sorry.

Posted by: misteraitch on July 2, 2007 01:59 PM
Comments are now closed