May 06, 2021 - Sale 2566

Sale 2566 - Lot 40

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
Procession of Sultan Süleyman through the Atmeidan from the frieze Customs and Fashions of the Turks.

Group of 4 (of 7) woodcuts, circa 1553. Each approximately 332x470 mm; 13x18 1/2 inches (sheets), wide margins, the four sheets forming a connected, continuous frieze. One sheet with a Strasburg Lily watermark. Good impressions of these exceedingly scarce woodcuts.

We have found only 2 other sets of the woodcuts at auction in the past 30 years.

Van Aelst (1502-1550) traveled to Constantinople in 1533; he appears to have been part of an expedition sent by the Brussels-based Dermoyen firm to negotiate a sale of tapestries to the Sultan Süleyman. The firm may have been hoping that Süleyman, wanting to rival Western monarchs, would commission a set of tapestries glorifying his reign, possibly based on the designs rendered in this frieze. The tapestry commission appears never to have materialized. Van Aelst's widow published the woodcut frieze 20 years after her husband executed the designs created during or soon after his journey to Constantinople. Hollstein 4.