HOLLAR, Wenceslaus. Robert SAYER, publisher. ~ Theatru[m] mulierum sive Varietas atq[ue] differentia habituum foeminei sexus diversorum Europae nationum hodierno tempore vulgo in usu… Londini Ao 1643. London: Robert Sayer, [n.d., c 1795].
8vo (180 × 110 mm), etched title and 48 plates. Some spotting and browning, most noticeable on title but mostly marginal thereafter, price on title obscured in ink at an early date. Early nineteenth-century black half calf, marbled boards. Upper joint expertly repaired. Early ownership inscription ‘Susanna Manby, 1830’ and one later inscription (1862). A very good copy.
Hollar’s small format plates of European women and their costume are dated from 1642-4 and followed his successful series Ornatus muliebris Anglicanus of 1640. The plates were obtained by eighteenth-century printseller Robert Sayer, who issued them several times (with captions in English added) right up until his death in 1794. His widow may also have continued issuing and selling them into the early nineteenth-century. They are one of the best sources for seventeenth-century lay female dress and include several English subjects (A Noble Woman, a Merchant’s Wife of London, an English Gentlewoman, A Merchant’s Daughter, Lady of the Court, a Countrywoman etc) together with women of France, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Austria. Three of the plates at the end depict men of religious orders.
Pennington, Hollar cf. Colas 1466 (second edition of 1643); Lipperheide 30.