CAT 49. Capital letter N. Publication unknown. Melville Memorial Room, Berkshire Athenaeum.
The triangle in the position of the sun, surrounded by radiating concentric circles of angels, suggests God the Creator. The two unclothed figures on earth are suggestive of Adam and Eve as created in Genesis 1, but the fragments of Dutch text on the verso of this image—which include the words “Aaron,” “Sinaï,” “Kerk,” and “Gód”—suggest that the engraved scene might be illustrating a subsequent chapter or book of the Bible. This engraving, along with the two “wild card” D’s in Melville’s collection (CAT 25 and 43) belong to a visionary strain that runs through the Bible from Genesis in the Old Testament to Revelation in the New. As explained in the headnote to this section, the slightly rectangular shape of this capital letter illustration differs from its square counterparts from the 1728 Taferelen—as does the larger typeface of the words published in Dutch on its verso. I have not yet identified the Dutch Bible or Biblical history from which it has been extracted.