Wien: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1859-1862. Unique edition. Hardcover. Folio. 88pp (text), 72 plates (Volume I), 69pp (text), 56 plates (Volume II). Original half morocco over cloth with gold lettering and borders on spines. Marbled paper edges. Rare edition of an exceptional work compiling 128 mounted salt prints and albumen photographs, depicting a wide selection of armor for both men and horses, shields and weapons including early fire arms. Volume One contains 72 salt prints and Volume Two contains 33 salt prints and 23 albumen prints. The hundreds of items documented in this early photographic catalog come from the personal collection of Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria and are displayed at Ambras Castle, the Archduke's residence between 1563 and 1595. Ferdinand II founded the Ambras collections of 15th and 16th century arms and armor that had originally been assembled by the Emperor Maximilian I and Archduke Sigismund. This collection became renowned during his own lifetime and he built a specially conceived museum complex to house and display them. The salt prints average 11" x 6" (279 x 229mm,) the albumens are as large as 11" x 9" (279 x 229mm.) The prints are mounted on paper and framed with ink. Each photograph is preceded by a cover sheet printed with Roman numerals and a descriptive title. Spine of first volume slightly rubbed. Minor shelf-wear. Previous owner's stamp (Diégo Küpfer) on fly leaf of both volumes. Slight and sporadic rippling to top edge of some mounts, in no case affecting images. Text in German. Bindings in overall good+ to very good, pages and prints in very good to fine condition. Item #32542
About the authors:
Andreas Groll (1812-1872), was born in Vienna as the son of a man servant. He may have learned photography during his time as a lab assistant at the polytechnic institute - today's Technical University - in Vienna from 1845 to 1853. At that time, the polytechnic institute was the most important place of early photography in Austria because of the presence of professors such as Johann Joseph of Prechtl, Anton of Schroetter (who is said to have encouraged Groll) and particularly the activity of Anton Georg Martin. Groll's early work was daguerreotype. He then turned to salt prints and albumen photographic prints. In co-operation with Eduard von Sacken, Groll's first large special photographic project was to photograph the historical weapons and armors gathered in the imperial collections of the Ambras Castle. (John Hannavy in "Encyclopedia of Nineteen Century Photography")
Eduard Freiherr von Sacken (1825-1883 ) was an Austrian heraldist and antiquarian. In 1845, he was the amanuensis (secretary to a scholar) at the Imperial coin and antiquities museum of Vienna (Münz- und Antikenkabinett.) In 1854, he was hired as a curator and in 1871 was appointed director of the museum. Von Sacken published numerous Art-Historical works, but remains mostly renown for his very scholarly work on heraldry. (From A. Bernhard-Walcher: "Eduard Freiherr von Sacken," in: "Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950" (ÖBL) Band 9, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 1988).