The Hague: Isaac Burchoorn for Adriaen van de Venne [In 'sGraven-Hage… van Isaac Burchoorn”], 1634.
Octavo: 12.1 x 8.8 cm. 2 parts in 1 vol., 111,(1); (32),108,(2)p. Collation: a-g8, ¶8, A-H8.
Bound by the Middelburg binder Suenonius Mandelgreen (1736-1758), “one of the few Dutch binders known by name to whom work can be assigned with certainty” (Storm van Leeuwen) in 18th cent. marbled calf w. large gilt floral central ornament and gilt tooled floral borders on both covers, richly gilt spine in 6 compartments w. morocco lettering piece and gilt edges (small loss to corners, upper hinge split). Illustrated with a (self?) portrait of the author engraved by Daniël van den Bremden, and 9 etched scenes (two by Adriaen Matham after drawings by the author, the other 7 by the author.) A nice copy. Very light dampstain to first five leaves, paper defect to blank lower margin of one leaf, ink stain on 2 leaves (H1-2), one entering the engraving; fore-edge cut close, just touching the text in a few places.
A charming, somewhat bizarre work. The first part consists of a laudatory poem on peat and its trade on the peat-market in The Hague. The second part contains one of the earliest laudatory poems on tobacco to be published in The Netherlands. The tobacco poem includes a re-working of a Sir Walter Raleigh smoking myth, in which a pipe-smoking peat bargeman is thought to have caught on fire: frightened onlookers try hastily to put out the flames. In the original version, Raleigh finds himself soaked in beer after a surprised spectator sees smoke emanating from his head.
“In this potpourri, the author, after describing and praising the qualities of Dutch peat, relates (undoubtedly as a satire) an amusing incident that (he says) he had witnessed. A farmer, standing on his peat-loaded barge, was smoking a pipe and thus appeared to onlookers to be on fire. Great confusion reigned while some ran for ladders and shovels, and others for water with which to extinguish the assumed blaze, until the nature of the smoke was explained.
“In the “Nieuw Wys-Mal” is related a lengthy and involved fable in verse, presented as someone's dream, in which the two chief characters are Doddus, a blacksmith, and his helper, Julfus. In the course of their travels they come upon a field where grows a special herb, which Doddus is determined to smoke. Julfus is of the opinion that tobacco smells bad but he is told by his master that it is not food for the belly but is intended only for the nose, mouth, and head. They encounter Death and Bruegelesque devils, catch one of the devils in a sack and beat it on their anvil with sledgehammers. Upon the death of Doddus, Julfus plans to promote the use of tobacco to the ends of the earth. Tobacco, he soliloquizes, deserves fame, for it clarifies poor eyesight, expels lice, and drives away wives. It has, too, other valuable remedial and social powers."(Arents II, 194).
Hollstein 431-437; Waller 1732; Scheepers I, 282; Versnel 597; Franken (Van der Venne) III, p.99. Binding: For a biography of the binder, see Storm van Leeuwen IIB, 4.2.7. For the tools, ibid., p. 623, roll VII, and p. 625 tool 41.