One of the star turns in the summer sale in South Cerney of Martin Orsky’s wonderful library emerged towards the end of the day. This was a uniformly framed set of five stencil coloured woodcut broadsides, heightened with bodycolour and glitter and representing ‘The Five Senses’, sold at £30,000.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay
This was 10 times the high estimate but, considering the interest shown prior to the Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) sale on June 26, they were always likely to do well.
Dated to c.1670, printed for George Minnikin, a playing card manufacturer and print publisher, and to be sold at his shop at the Sign of the Parrot in Shoo-Lane (London), they are each a little over 20in (52cm) tall and incorporate descriptive verses beneath the principal image. They are titled Tasting, Feeling, Hearing – the example featured above – Smeling (sic) and Seeing.
Little is known about Minnikin, though he was twice Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, and no other copies of these broadsides have been located.
The author of the verses also remains unidentified, but it was noted that they are very similar to those found in some stained glass windows at Howroyd hall at Barkisland in Yorkshire, built in 1642 by William Horton.