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Jan Philipsz Schabaelje and Pieter van der Borcht's etchings in the first and the final state. A contribution to the reconstruction of the printing history of H. J. Barrefelt's Imagines et Figurae Bibliorum1

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The printing history of the Imagines et figurae Bibliorum of H. J. Barrefelt (Hiël) and P. van der Borcht is wrapped in riddles. Thanks to the discovery of 33 etchings by Van der Borcht in a hitherto unknown first state new elements can be advanced with which to solve the puzzle. The prints were found in a curious copy of Den Grooten Figver-Bibel (1646) by the Waterland-Mennonite author Jan Philipsz Schabaelje (Library of the Gemeentearchief (Municipal Archives) in Alkmaar, shelf-mark 5-D-6a). What is discussed are the various stages of completion of both the prints and the text. As a result three variants can be distinguished in the first 'edition' of the Imagines. The history originally proposed by M. Rooses and L. Voet is thus given stronger support, in spite of the most recent approach of Alastair Hamilton. An attempt is also made to explain why and how Jan Philipsz Schabaelje occupied himself, in 1653-4, as editor, author and publisher, with this work by a sixteenth-century prophet from the circle of Plantin.


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