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Anonymous etching after Pieter van der Borcht, 223 x 303 mm. Wurzbach 11, New Hollstein 173, 4th state (of 4) with Claes Jansz II Visscher’s address.
Fine impression printed on laid paper with watermark (Foolscap with seven-pointed collar). Good margins (sheet: 295 x 350 mm). Two slight folds and two tiny repaired tears in the bottom margin with a very small repaired loss of paper.
New Hollstein lists several engravings by or after Peeter van der Borcht that represent village fairs and celebrations. St Sebastian’s fair is related to two other engravings in the same format: Wedding Feast (NH 174) and Laborious peasants (NH 175). Both also have a title in the upper part and two series of 2 or 4 lines of verse underneath the picture. Another engraving dated 1553, St George’s fair, is also by Peeter van der Borcht (NH 168).
The Latin title and the letter, in both French and Dutch, list a whole catalogue of activities and debauchery that these fairs give rise to: HAEC RURI FACIES CELEBRANTI HAEC FESTA QUOTANNIS; Faire proceβions, s’aβeoir au bancquetage,/ S’iurer, vomir, brauer auecq glaiues, sacques/ Fraper les pains d’epice, acheter afficquets,/ Flutter, baller est faict des festes de village. [‘To walk in a procession, to sit down for a feast/ to get drunk, to throw up, to pick fights with swords, sacs/ to hit gingerbreads, to buy trinkets, to play the flute, to dance, this is what these village fairs are made of’]