The Old & the New Schouwburg Theater

Historie van den Amsterdamschen Schouwburg.

Engraved frontis., engraved vignette on title, & four double-page folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., 80 pp., [12] pp. 4to, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards (corners a bit worn), uncut, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece. Amsterdam: “by G. Warnars, en P. den Hengst,” 1772.

[bound with]:

[—]. Historie van den Nieuwen Amsterdamschen Schouwburg. Engraved vignette on title & five double-page folding engraved plates. 3 p.l., 56 pp. 4to. Amsterdam: “by G. Warnars, en P. den Hengst,” 1775.

First editions and fine, fresh, and uncut copies of these beautifully illustrated works; all the plates are after Simon Fokke (1712-84), and Noach van der Meer the younger (1741-1822).

The first work is the earliest illustrated account of the old Schouwburg theater in Amsterdam, published in the same year of its destruction by fire. The Schouwburg was erected in 1638 on the site of the old Amsterdam Academy and was the first permanent theater in the city. Initially, the theater saw 90 productions per year; during the 18th century it became more of an opera house. In May 1772, during a performance of Monsigny’s Déserteur, a fire swept through the building, destroying it completely and killing 18 people. Fokke’s dramatic illustrations in the first work depict the outbreak of fire on the stage behind the scenes; the whole building burning, illuminating the night sky, with onlookers thronging the streets and bridges; and an internal view of the gutted theater.

The plates in the second work illustrate the exterior and interior of the new theater.

The illustrator Simon Fokke, brother of the author, Jan Fokke, was an actor as well as a stage designer. He designed the set for the opera Demostenes at the Schouwburg.

Price: $1,500.00

Item ID: 6917

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