26 THE DANCE OF DEATH. by Holbein, formerly painted on a house at Basil, and of which some drawings are still preserved ; and it is therefore not improbable that he also designed the Dance of Death for these initials. They have apparently been struck off as proofs or patterns for some bookseller*, and at the bottom of the sheet is the mark ILwith the words tc Hans Liitzelburger Formschneider, (/. e. block-cutter), in Basel." In this manner has been preserved the name of a most exquisite artist, whom, from the similarity of style and subject, there is every reason to suppose the person who executed the fine cuts of the first Dance of Death. As he worked after the designs of Holbein, it is also probable that the painter might have invented some of the seventeen subjects which appeared in continuation of the original work, and that Liitzelburger also cut them for the subsequent editions. From the extreme delicacy with which the initials with the Dance of Death are executed, there is reason to suppose that they were not cut upon blocks of wood, but of metal, as was probably the larger work of the same subject; and in support of this conjecture it may be observed, that blocks of this kind are still preserved in the cabinets of the curious. * They were actually used by Cratander, a printer at Basil; and other initial letters, with Dances of Death, are to be seen in books printed at Zurich, Strasburg, and Vienna, in the sixteenth century. All the alphabets are in the possession of the ompiler of this essay, but they have not the monogram.