Habsburg Heraldic Manuscript

DRIESTEN, Joseph-Emanuel van Les trente deux quartiers généalogiques de Sa Majesté Francois-Joseph I (Charles). Empereur d’Autriche, Roi Apostolique de Hongrie, Roi de Boheme etc. (Paris, 1885-1907) Folio [325 x 255mm] (8) pp., 23 numb. sheets, XI, (3) pp. With manuscript title, 6 (3 full page) pen drawings and 63 (1 full page) gouache drawings of coat of arms. Contemporary undecorated linen binding.

This is an important and very unusual armorial manuscript in which the artist designs and describes a great coat of arms of Franz Joseph I of Austria with 62 quarterings. According to the author’s handwritten epilogue, the present work was his first armorial manuscript in a series relating to the Order of the Golden Fleece, of which the emperor was the grandmaster in Austria. The present work was exhibited in Bruges at the Exposition de la Toison d’or in 1907, together with two other heraldic manuscripts by the author. The actual manuscript and the table of contents were finished in 1885, but in 1907 the author added a handwritten foreword and the epilogue.

Joseph-Emanuel van Driesten (Lille 1853 – 1923 Paris) was a French miniaturist and heraldic artist. He was the eldest of five children of Antoine-Guillaume Van Driesten and Josepha Verschaffelt. He entered the École des Beaux-Artes de Lille where he became a pupil under Alphonse Colas. In 1870, he began an apprenticeship to a carriage builder in Lille, where he decorated carriage doors. In 1877, he opened his own heraldic workshop in Lille. In 1878, he won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition and in 1882 he won another gold medal from the Société des Sciences et des Arts de Lille and an award from the Société Héraldique et Généalogique de France. In 1886, he won a silver medal in Vienna for a series of paintings of thirty-two genealogical trees outlining the ancestry of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. In 1886, Van Driesten relocated to Paris where he offered instructional courses for ladies in both illumination and miniature portraiture. He also published two monthly magazines of art instruction: L’Enlumineur (1889-1892), and Le Coloriste Enlumineur (1893-1898). He regularly participated at exhibitions of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, where he exhibited both miniature portraits and heraldic works, and received a total of 18 gold and silver medals. He published several heraldic works including La marche de Lille (1884), Armorial Belge (1887) and Armorial national des villes de France (1889). His main work is the miniature manuscript Histoire de l’Ordre de la Toison d’Or, which he completed in 1898. He is the founder of the Societé des Miniaturistes et Enlumineurs de France. – Binding rubbed and slightly soiled, 2 pages loose.

The manuscript stayed unpublished to this day.

Bibliography: Exposition de la Toison d’or à Bruges. Catalogue. Bruges, 1907 (p. 283); Hippolyte Verly – Un Maitre Flamand. Etude d’art. Lille, 1904; L. Maillard – Le peintre de la Toison d’Or, J. van Driesten. (in: Revue illustrée du 5 septembre 1907); Thieme-Becker, IX, 567; Harry Blättel – Internationales Lexikon der Miniaturmaler, Porzellanmaler, Silhouetisten. Munich, 1992. (p. 912ff.); Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard – Les peintres en miniature. Paris, 2008 (p. 513); Benezit (1924) II, 142.

EUR 950,-