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Gloria Crocodilus

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (series)

    • Gloria Crocodilus
  • Description

    Title-page to sixty-three emblematic miniatures in roundels; helmeted coat of arms crested with bird legs, crowned with severed bird legs; with inscriptions in gold; from an album of 82 leaves. 1634
    Bodycolour heightened with gold, on vellum

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1634
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 83 millimetres (sheet)
    • Width: 90 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed and dated in gold: "1634 / Symb / Gloria Crocodilus / Godefridus Crell. Elbinga Borussus [modern day Elblag in Poland formerly Elbing in Prussia]".

        Inside cover inscribed in pencil: "AL 100 rec 2" (AL not in Lugt) and "M 41 100". Folio 1 inscribed: "coningh van Engelant Carolus II Roy Anglett." and on reverse: "AL rec 2". Folio 2 inscribed: "prins d'orange". Folio 3 inscribed: "princesse Maria d'orange" and "princess albertina d'orange". Folio 4 inscribed: "P. Yorke 1749 - donum Matris Charissimae". Folio 5 inscribed: "princesse de Taranto".
  • Curator's comments

    This is the title-page to 'Gloria Crocodilus', an album of 82 leaves, 63 of which bear miniature emblematic roundels in bodycolour, each inscribed with a title above in Latin. Its connection to the rest of the album is uncertain: it is the only page in vellum, it is not of the same dimensions as the other sheets, the title bears no relation to any of the drawings (an emblem of that title is found in Nicolaus Reusner's 'Emblemata .. partim ethica, et physica: partim verò historica, et hieroglyphica' Frankfurt, 1581) and it is seems of inferior quality to the other drawings. It may therefore be a later addition to the album which would throw open the question of the dating .

    This album from the Wrest Park library was bound at an early date in Dutch red morocco leather with elegant gilt tooling, but retains its original vellum cover (1994,1001.10.8) within. The putative dedicatee, Godefridus Crell of Prussia, may have belonged to the distinguished German family of Crell. The album's later provenance is recorded on the protective flyleaves (1994,1001.10.1-5), although it has yet to be established whether all these inscriptions are dependable. The two following leaves are left blank (1994,1001.10.6-7), as well as the leaf behind the title-page (1994,1001.10.9) and the last ten leaves (1994,1001.10.73-82).
    The artist responsible for the album has not yet been identified with certainty but it might plausibly be attributed to Jacob Hoefnagel, son of Joris, as the drawings resemble his series of emblematic roundels now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. The drawings are copied from some of the 100 engravings by Matthäus Merian I in Julius Wilhelm Zincgref's 'Emblematum Ethico-Politicorum Centuria', first published by Joahann Thedor de Bry in Frankfurt, 1619 (L.H. Wüthrich, 'Das druckgraphische Werk von Matthaeus Merian d.Ae', II, Basle, 1972, no. 107, pp. 130-140). There were later editions of the book and the emblems were also reused in other publications.

    There is a circular gold border around each image and inscriptions in black ink and silver on leaves of thin laid watermarked paper, with thicker laid paper serving as the fly-leaves, with a Wrest Park bookplate pasted inside the front cover.


  • Location

    Not on display (197.a.14)

  • Exhibition history

    1995-6 Nov-Apr, BM, Recent Acquisitions (no cat.)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax on the Estate of the late Baroness Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall. It was presented to Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke by his mother in 1749 and passed through the hands of the Yorke family to the Earl de Grey and through him to the Barons Lucas. It was apparently made for Gottfried Crell of Prussia, but the rest of the earlier provenance recorded in the album has not yet been established firmly. Credit line to be used on labels and loans: 'Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the British Museum, 1994'

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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