|Method||Copper engraving with hand colour|
|Dimensions||Image 72 x 140, Plate 105 x 150 mm, Sheet 165 x 182 mm|
A rare, early view of Oxford from Meisner's 'Thesaurus philo-politicus', with a drunken Bacchus riding a donkey in the foreground. This prospect of Oxford is a miniature copy of that by Braun & Hogenberg printed in 1575, providing a view of the city from what is now South Parks. The Towers of Magdalen and Merton College as well as the steeple of Christ Church Cathedral are depicted alongside a representation of Oxford's Norman Castle. The building to the right of Bacchus appears to be a bit of an anomaly however, but it is generally assumed that it represents Osney Abbey, albeit plotted incorrectly.
Text below image, in Latin and German, embodies the moral message illustrated in the foreground, and reads: 'Ebrius Arcadico Vehitur bene Bacchus Asello: Pigritiae Ebrietas uvida mater erit. Bachus auf einem Esel sitzt, Doll und Toll, daß er keucht und Schnitzt: ßferd und Keutter sind gleicher acht, Trunckenheit faule Bengel macht.'
Meisner's emblem book, containing over 800 pictorial-poetic compositions, was enormously popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. The plan views were based on the work of De Bry, Braun & Hogenberg, Merian and others with the addition of emblematic figures or scenes in the foreground, juxtaposed with moralising and edifying verses beneath the image and a Latin motto at top. It was originally issued with 52 plates as the 'Thesaurus philo-politicus' in 1623-24. After Meisner's death in 1625, Eberhard Kieser, with assistance from Johann L. Gottfried, completed the work and published it until 1631. The plates then appeared in the eight parts of 'Sciographia Cosmica' published by Paulus Furst between 1638-78. The plates for these editions were renumbered alpha-numerically in the upper right corners - A-H (identifying the 8 parts) and 1-100 (plate number). They were finally issued in 1700 and 1704 in Rudolf J. Helmer's 'Politica-politica'. This is an early impression prior to the addition of a letter before the pagination.
Condition: Two pinholes to top corners. Finely hand coloured, a good, rich impression.