Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem


Samuel Ampzing (1590-1632), Beschryvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland. In rijm bearbeyd: ende met veele oude en nieuwe stucken buyten dicht uyt verscheyde kronijken, handvesten, brieven, memorien ofte geheugenissen, ende diergelijke schriften verklaerd, ende bevestigd. With: Petrus Scriverius, Lavre-Kranz voor Laurens Koster van Haerlem, eerste vinder vande boeck-druckery (Haarlem: Adriaan Roman, 1628). Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process



Several month ago we found a collotype depiction of Laurens Jansz. Coster’s fifteenth-century print shop. Happily, we have now acquired the book that first presented this amazing print to the public.

The Dutch poet Samuel Ampzing (1590-1632) wrote this book to promote the city of Haarlem. He began the project in 1617 and published it in 1628 under the title Beschrijvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland. As an added bonus, the foreword is an essay by Ampzing on the Dutch language and its rules of rhetoric, which was also sold separately in 1628 under the title Taelbericht der Nederlandsche spellinge (Treatise on Dutch Spelling).

The book includes eleven double page prints designed by Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (1597-1665), among the most famous of the seventeenth-century Dutch painters. In addition, he drew a portrait of Coster (ca. 1370-ca. 1440), who was for some years thought to have predated Gutenberg in the use of moveable type. The book includes a short section by the Leiden scholar Petrus Scriverius in praise of Coster and two plates imagining the inside of his shop.