Sammtliche Truppen von Europa.
Les Armèes d'Europe.
Würzburg, Christian Weiss, 1838-1842.
One of the finest and rarest suites of hand-coloured lithographs of European military uniforms. The first part comprising 48 livraisons with 8 plates in each gives a comprehensive overview of the German and Austrian armies. Part II contains the rare section on the Russian army with the dedication to Nicholas II, as well as the Swedish, Swiss and French armies. The plates include a series of very useful schemata showing the various colours of the ranks in each of the regiments.
As Colas states 'it is difficult to establish the exact content of this collection as, apart from the numerous variants, the known examples vary in content'. A so-called complete copy would really be an 'ideal' copy, most copies having far fewer plates than were actually issued. It is rare to find a complete example of the first section, let alone with such a large number of plates from the second section. The addition of the original wrappers, portfolio and metal box make this exceptional example a remarkable survival.
The plates are as follows: 384 German and Austrian (complete according to Lipperheide), 134 Russian (of circa 136), 39 Swedish (of 40), 16 Swiss (complete) and 16 French (of 21). Due to the death of Monten in 1843 only the section on Sweden was successfully completed. 584 of the plates are from the so-called Furstenausgabe, or luxury edition, in which the plates were hand-coloured before being mounted on separate leaves with lithographed captions.
First edition, 2 parts, 48 livraisons in part I and 26 in part II ; folio (38 x 27 cm); 589 hand-coloured lithographic plates with printed captions and some with publisher's blind stamp, one lithographic dedication, 3pp. letterpress content biofolium for part I, with annotations annotated, tape marks and leaves detached, plates tipped in as issued, except 5 plates in part I which are from a later issue, captions mostly in French or in French and German (as in the sections for the Swedish, Swiss and French armies), plates for the Austrian Army are heightened with gum arabic, plates are in excellent condition overall, a few with tape repairs, one foxed and a few with marginal tears; each livraison in the original grey printed wrappers, of a few different designs, with the text in French or German, numbered in ink manuscript (extremities rubbed, creased and with short nicks and tears, about one-third with splits to joints, some almost detached, livraison 25 of part 2 with crude tape repairs to joints, part I contained in the original portfolio with printed paper-covered sides, green silk ties (extremities rubbed, a couple of short splits to joints); with a near contemporary metal box used to house at least part of the set, a fine example.
Colas 935; Lipperheide I, Qc26.
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