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SOLD - Rare Metamorphosis, Ein Brief an mich und Dich C: 1835 - in color

Antique harlequinade or Turn-up book - Metamorphosis - Circa: 1835
Antique harlequinade or Turn-up book: Metamorphosis in color

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Antique harlequinade or Turn-up book - Metamorphosis - Circa: 1835

Title: Ein Brief an mich und Dich

By: Johann Jakob Kaspar Ensslin
(1790-1865) in Reutlingen

Religious transformation letter. Colored copperplate Lithograph that can be folded several times with changing views.
1 sheet, lithographed on both sides. 21.5 x 16.5 cm. Hand-colored engravings.
Item was designed to be folded with the title panel displayed, then unfolded to reveal different views.

Cover: Ein Brief an mich und Dich ist cito abzugeben. Das Porto ist gering, nimm ihn begierig an. Der Inhalt zielt auf Dich auf mich und Jedermann, der Ort wohin her soll, der ist und heisst, O Herz merk’s eben

Translates to:
"A letter to me and you is to be delivered to cito. The postage is low, accept it eagerly. The content is aimed at you, at me and everyone, the place where should go, it is and is called, Oh heart, remember !"

Condition: See photos. Very good without tears of missing parts. Two of the folds have been neatly taped.

A similar example is in the special collections at Princeton University.

They state that their Rare Books and Special Collections department “ holds a number of similar books and prints–sometimes called Harlequinades or Turn-Ups or Metamorphosis or Transformation books–but this might be the first one in German”

Princeton’s copy is in Black and White – this one is in color.

They go on to state:
"Scenes include Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; the crucifixion; and an overall message of the transience of life. The work is described in the August 2, 1835 issue of the Allgemeine Kitchenzeitung, where it is called a wonderful new invention."

Text is in German - Description of story:

"The baroque images are of Carpe Diem and Memento Mori. We start out with a nude man under a spring tree patting a Lion: "O sight full of loveliness!".

Unfold and a naked Adam and Eve appear with the serpent in front of the tree of wisdom, all under a crucifix: "O sight full of horror! How do you discover the great fall, which now kills us all".

Continue to open and we see a fancily dressed couple on a hill: "The man of earth is made, what use is the great splendor? - Clothes are just blankets of sin, just pick them up - you will be frightened! ".

Lift another flap and the lovely couple now have skeleton legs, she a shovel, he a scythe in his hand. We also see a death altar and a skull,snake, hour glass and a candle: "O Man! Here reflect yourself, consider what you are. Nothing but the worm Koth, a shadow that does not remain, a dust that removes the moment, a gentle wind, a light that soon goes out. So live as a Christian and learn because you live on earth, how you can be saved forever ".

Below we see a naked female corpse on a stone coffin, covered with maggots and worms: "I did not know how I should carry myself in splendor, now the splendor is gone. Since worms gnaw me and I am the prey of putrefaction. Come mortal, consider me what you now that was me too ".

All books returnable if not delighted for any reason
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Product Code: P-15A