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Christ presented in the temple (The purification of the Virgin) 1530 -1545

Frans Crabbe van Espleghem

* c.1480 in Mechelen † 1553 in Mechelen

Etching and engraving. Size of sheet: 16.2 x 11 cm.

Literature: Hollstein 7, three impressions recorded;

                Popham 1935, 4;

                Bartsche VII.529.4;

                T.I.B. 4;

              Bassens, M. Frans Crabbe van Espleghem (ca. 1480–1553). New research on the life and works of the Master with the Crab, with special attention for his graphic work (unpublished dissertation, KU Leuven) 2016, cat. A27, five impressions recorded:

                Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Kupferstichkabinett, (18-1932.31). Previous collections: William Esdaile (1758-1837), sold at Christie's and Manson in London (11 June 1840, lot 139); John Waterloo Wilson (Lugt 2581); Domingo Guillermo de Arozarena (Lugt 109) sold at Drouot in Paris (27-28 May 1861). Graf Yorck von Wartenburg; sold at C.G. Boerner, Leipzig (2-3 May 1932, lot 456). Purchased via M.J. Friedländer-Stiftungsfond.

                Krakau, Czartoryski Museum.

                London, British Museum, (1837,0616.360.32). Previous collections: William Young Ottley (1771-1836); sold at Leigh & Sotheby’s, London (25 May 1837, lot 1008; one of five in a lot) bought by the British Museum.

                Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, (Ec N 3247).

                Vienna, Albertina, (DG1949/612).


Extremely rare, sixth known impression of this print by one of the masters of early Dutch printmaking.

Very fine impression of the period with some paper loss on the top left corner and old replacement on the bottom left corner, otherwise the full image and trimmed to the borderline or with thread margins around the borderline. All the details of the main scene are untouched.

One of the greatest rarities in early Dutch printmaking. Likely the only impression available for purchase.

We are grateful to Maarten Bassens for his assistance in this cataloguing.

£ 12,500.-

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