@1726 two engravings of Jacob Cats Dutch proverbs (van de Venne)

$60.00 CAD

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Two-sided page from the book 'Alle de Wercken van den heere Jacob Cats’  (Complete Works of Jacob Cats) which was published from 1655 on. This plate is likely from the 1726 edition.

There is an copper plate engraving on top of both sides of the page, and text in French/Dutch.

The emblems depict lessons of many aspects of life, based on Dutch proverbs by Jacob Cats (1577-1660)


Page 597 (?)

The emblem is an engraving of rooster and hens eating. Based on drawing by Adriaen van de Venne, engraved by D Bremden.

Proverb: 'Ogni gallo rupsa a se. - Met voeten en becken / Plag den haen tot hem te trecken.' (With feet and beaks, the rooster tries to get it all).


Page 598

Engraving has no attribution.

The emblem is an engraving of a buxom melon vendor and her perplexed customer, who is trying to select a good piece of fruit by its aroma.

Above image in French is the saying: “Amis sont comme le melon, De dix souvent pas un est bon.” (Friends are like melons, of ten sometimes only one is good).

Below in german is 'Gelijck men handelt den meloen / Soo moet men ook met vrienden doen.' (One should do with friends as with melons).

Physically, the previous owner has matted the engraving on the first page, by folding the sheet in two and taping two corners to the mat. The photos show the back page engraving and part of the front page, not wanting to remove the tape.

Folded page taped to matte. Some yellowing around edges of page. Crease upper page (visible on back page). Front image has crease LL.

Page size:  21.5 X 38.75 cm
Mat size: 24 X 24 cm
Engraving size: 13 X 13 cm (mat window), 12.75 X 12.75 cm (second page)


Jacob Cats (10 November 1577 – 12 September 1660) was a Dutch poet, humorist, jurist and politician. A magistrate and high official, he was enormously popular as a writer of emblem books, consisting of woodcuts or engravings with verses possessing a moral. His Mirror of Old and New Times (1632) contains many quotations that have become household sayings in the Netherlands, and he used it to express the ethical concerns of Dutch Calvinists, especially about love and marriage.

Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (1589 – 12 November 1662), was a versatile Dutch Golden Age painter of allegories, genre subjects and portraits, as well as a miniaturist, book-illustrator and designer of political satires and a versifier.


BREMDEN, D.V., an engraver of little notoriety. He worked with the graver in a neat but tasteless style. There is a small plate by him of Ladies and Gentlemen at an Entertainment, after de Vlieger; and he engraved some plates after A. Vader Venne.

Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical By Michael Bryan (1869)