Print: Baxter CL 23 Bohemian Peasants or to give it its full title Bohemian Peasants near Toplitz Celebrating the Festival of their patron, St. John of Nepomuc AND CL 24 - Hungarian Peasants or to give it its full title Hungarian Peasants Descending the Drave in Carinthia on a raft of Barrels.
These prints were the frontispieces to the two volumes by Edmund Spencer’s ‘Sketches of Germany and the Germans etc.’
Of the Bohemian Peasants they are shown dancing in front of a large statue of the Saint. Vol 1 page 198 states "The Saint of Bohemia was condemned to death because he pertinaciously kept silence, respecting a matter of which the devout, and the unbeliever, give very different versions. The former relate, that for refusing to divulge the secrets of the Queen of King Wenceslaus, disclosed to him in confession, the enraged husband caused him to be hurled into the Moldau. The story recounted by the scoffer I shall decline transcribing, as I am determined not to admit any scandal into my pages, even though it relates to a mouldering Saint, and the frailty of a Bohemian Queen . . . . In every street we see displayed in the windows of the faithful a portrait or image of the Saint, surrounded with garlands of flowers, and not infrequently with precious stones, brilliantly illuminated. The vignette on the title-page will give some idea of the manner in which the fete is celebrated throughout Bohemia; the sketch was taken near Toplitz, and includes the statue of the Saint and the Schlossberg."
Talking of Hungarian Peasants Vol 2 page 273 says "Here I was much amused, by seeing the rapid surge bearing along a fleet of barrels, made into a sort of raft, having a pole in the centre, to which was attached a small cask decorated with wreaths of evergreens and flowers; upon the barrels were seated a troop of peasants, in their gaudy costume, with ribbons streaming from their hats, forming altogether a most bacchanalian and picturesque group. I found, on enquiry, that they were Hungarian peasants, who having disposed of their wines in the mountain districts of Carinthia, had converted their empty barrels into boats, and were now returning home. During this part of my route, I was fortunate in being accompanied by an English artist, Mr. Zeitter, of London, who had travelled with me from Laybach, and to whose able pencil I am indebted for the very spirited vignette on the title-page."
Engraved under both prints are the titles, and “Printed in Oil Colours by G. Baxter (Patentee), from a painting by J. C. Zeitter."
Both prints were produced from a plate and ten blocks and were both used when Baxter enrolled the specification of his patent in April, 1836.
Size (cm ht x w): 22.5 cm x 13.5 cm each page
State: On full book pages as issued along with the title page of Volume I of the book
Condition: Excellent colours, light foxing mainly to page edges, please images. Some light creasing where the prints have been removed from the book
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