Title: Der Todten-Tanz, wie derselbe in der weitberühmten Stadt Basel, als ein Spiegel menschlicher Beschaffenheit, ganz künstlich mit lebendigen Farben gemahlet, nicht ohne nützliche Verwunderung zu sehen ist, 1796
Author: Georg Scharffenberg; Johann Conrad von Mechel
Publisher: Basel, Bey Gebrüdern von Mechel
A late 18th century edition of Johann Conrad von Mechel’s Dance of Death, being famously based upon the early medieval representations of Dance of Death in Basel. While Huldreich Frölich was among the first to publish descriptions of the Basel Dance in the 16th century, this work confusingly adapts illustrations from Holbein’s Dance of Death, while at the same time using several woodcuts that accurately represented Basel’s Dance of Death, thus perpetrating the extremely inaccurate conclusion that Hans Holbein was the creator of Basel’s Dance of Death instead of Frolich. The Mechel edition should also not be confused with Matthäus Merian’s illustrated 17th century work of the same exact title.
There are 42 full page-page woodblock engravings, 1 engraved title page, and one pictorial image of a large cathedral.
One volume in octavo, 6+42 leaves
One note of condition, this volume is in poor shape, with the front board being detached. There is minor rubbing at the boards, with a small library stamp to the title page and to the foot of the final page, along with small, one line library stamps to each plate. There is little to no foxing and staining throughout.