Native Fashion in 16th c. Virginia - The Expanded Second Edition – With New Woodcuts of Native Americans

WOMEN. COSTUME. NATIVE AMERICANS. Vecellio, Cesare (ca. 1521-1601)

Habiti antichi et moderni di tutto il mondo di Cesare Vecellio ; di nuouo accresciuti di molte figure ; vestitus antiquorum recentiorumque totius orbis per Sulstatium Gratilianum Senapolensis Latinè declarati.

Venice: Appresso Gio. Bernardo Sessa, 1598


Octavo: 17.5 x 12 cm. [56], 507, [1] lvs. Collation: a-g8, A-Z8, Aa-Zz8, Aaa-Rrr8, Ss4 (lacking blank Ss4).

SECOND EDITION, enlarged with a new section on the Americas.

Bound in 17thc. vellum. A nice, complete copy with only minor soiling, light staining to title, clean tear mended to one leaf, no loss; two marginal paper flaws (not affecting text), small ink stain to one leaf, and a few light dampstains to the lower corner in four signatures.

Cesare Vecellio, who joined the workshop of his famous cousin Titian before 1548, was active as a publisher by 1570. The original 1590 edition included some 420 woodcuts by Christoph Krieger [Cristoforo Guerra], who died before completing the 450 cuts stipulated in his contract; this 2nd edition of 1598 contains 88 additional woodcuts (see Bayer, "Art and Love in Renaissance Italy").

The text of this second edition is illustrated with 505 full-page woodcuts, most by Christoph Krieger, on the verso of each leaf, depicting the costumes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas; the illustrations of Native Americans in Libro XII were added for this second edition.

The vast majority of the people shown and described in Vecellio's book are women. For an analysis, see Ann Rosalind Jones, "Fashioning Women in Cesare Vecellio's Costume Books" in "Re-framing Representations of Women: Figuring, Fashioning, Portraiting and Telling in the 'Picturing' of Women Project", p. 99-115.

The Americas:

In the section on the Americas, Vecellio has included images and descriptions of the inhabitants of Peru, Mexico, Virginia, and Florida, both men and women. Vecellio based his depictions of Virginian and Floridian Native Americans on engravings in Parts 1 and 2 of De Bry's "America Occidentalis". He has written brief Italian commentaries describing the materials, colors, and manufacture of the Americans' clothing, as well as descriptions of various aspects of American cultures. For more on the sources of Vecellio's American images, as well as a discussion of the ways in which Native Americans were interpreted by Vecellio and his 16thc. Italian audience, see Elizabeth Horodowich's "The Venetian discovery of America: geographic imagination in the age of encounters"(2018). 

Title within elaborate cartouche, featuring a figure in each corner in native dress from the four continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America; the Sessa cat-and-mouse device in small oval cartouche in lower part of cartouche; a large version of the device appears on verso of last leaf within ornamental cartouche within architectural woodcut border, with Sessa's motto "Dissimilium in fida societas;" head-pieces; ornamental initials. 

EDIT 16; CNCE 29586; BM STC Italian, 1465-1600, p. 713; Sabin, 98732; Alden, J.E. European Americana, 598/112; Hiler, H. Bibliography of costume (1. ed.), p. 873; Bayer, A.J. Art and love in Renaissance Italy, no. 64, p. 145; Lipperheide Aa 33