KILIAN, Lukas & KILIAN, Wolfgang [with] VON LIPOWSKY, Felix Joseph.


KILIAN, Lukas & KILIAN, Wolfgang [with] VON LIPOWSKY, Felix Joseph.


KILIAN, Lukas & KILIAN, Wolfgang. Contrafehe Der Herrn Fugger, und Frawen Fuggerin…

Augsburg, Sara Mang, 1620 (1619 on verso). (with)

VON LIPOWSKY, Felix Joseph. Manuscript biographies of the Fugger Family.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. 2 works in 1. Ff. (ii) 129 (i); Ff. (i) 229 (misnumbered 230). First work printed, second ms. First, Gothic letter, ornamental initials and tail pieces, engraved tp of Fugger family arms, 129 engraved portraits of Fugger family members by the Kilian brothers followed by 232 leaves of Felix Joseph von Lipowsky’s handwritten biographies of the Fugger family, red and black ink, borders red, some leaves left blank. Eps contain Lipowsky’s indexes of the family members on thick paper. Ms to tp ‘No 2 1683’, C18 stamp of Bavarian Royal Library to verso and margin of first two portraits. Slight age yellowing, tp repaired along gutter, marginal tears to a few leaves, slight water stain first few upper outer blank corners, minor marginal ink or oil spot. Manuscript on good quality, clean, thick paper. A unique volume in C18 half sheep over speckled boards, spine gilt with black and green morocco labels, monogram and insignia of the Bavarian Royal Library on spine, wear to corners and spine, all edges speckled green.

Unique and exceptional collection of exquisite engravings of the famed Fugger family originally by Dominicus Custos, expanded and updated posthumously by his sons-in-law Lukas and Wolfgang Kilian, bound with extensive and meticulous handwritten biographies of the family by the Bavarian lawyer, historian and archivist Felix Joseph von Lipowsky (1764-1842). The German edition is rare.

Celebrated portrait engraver Dominicus Custos (1560-1612) was first commissioned to produce an ambitious collection of likenesses of the enormously wealthy Fugger family in 1593. Following his death, his sons-in-law expanded and updated the first edition, adding new family members and redoing the original Fugger portraits in older age. This was published in Latin in 1618, expanded to include two more members in this 1620 vernacular edition. The Kilian additions are signed. Along with the wonderfully executed images are brief corresponding biographies in Gothic letter, giving their birth and death dates, offspring and spouse, and sometimes a longer account of their life. The engravings are exquisitely detailed and in excellent impression. The sheer wealth of the family is evoked through the stunning costume, meticulously wrought fur and silk, and carefully depicted beadwork and jewellery. It commences with Jacobus Fugger Senex and follows with male and female family members from the late fifteenth century up to the early seventeenth century, concluding with Juliana Fugger, daughter of Trajan Fugger (1604-).

This copy has been delightfully augmented by the thoroughly researched and handwritten addenda of Felix Joseph von Lipowsky, which contains detailed accounts of family members; a treasure of biographical and geneological study. An example is Carl Graf von Fugger, where Lipowsky provides notes on dates, close family members and references to where information can be found on him in ancestral archives. Lipowsky was born in Wiesensteig from Bohemian nobility and studied law in Munich before the Napoleonic Wars when he was temporarily entrusted as city commander. Following the Wars, Lipowsky began to research Bavarian art and cultural history, publishing biographical encyclopaedias like the Baierische Musik- Lexikon and Baierische Künstler-Lexikon. He was appointed in 1819 as Archivar der bayerischen Ständeversammlung where he worked on an extensive publication cataloguing traditional Bavarian costume. His Geschichte der Jesuiten in Schwaben, Vol I, contains mention of the Fugger family, as do a number of his other publications. This volume provides a charming insight into the exceptional work of a dedicated archivist and Bavarian enthusiast.

The Fugger family rose to prominence in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as merchants and bankers, becoming one of the wealthiest families in Europe, replacing the Medicis in both assets and influence. They were intimately connected with and financed the House of Hapsburg and had a nigh monopoly over the European copper market. Jakob Fugger “the Rich” (1459- 1525) is today considered to be one of the wealthiest people ever to have lived. He joined the ranks of nobility of the Holy Roman Empire, solidifying the already extreme wealth and influence of the Fugger clan. At the time of the present portrait engravings the family was headed by Johann Jakob Fugger, under whom the family generated an incredible 50,000,000 ducats between 1563 and 1641 from ventures including mercury and silver mines, the slave trade and the spice trade. During Lipowsky’s time the Fuggers were still prominent, Anselm Maria Fugger con Barbenhausen (1766-1821) having been created Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803. Several members of the Fugger family were notable as great patrons of art and literature, bibliophiles and book collectors.

Lipperheide Vol I 763 & BM STC Ger C17. Vol I C1515 both Latin edition only; Not in Graesse or Brunet.

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