3 June 2009,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 10,625
Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000
BLOUET, Guillaume Abel (1795-1853). Expédition scientifique de Morée. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1831-1838.
3 volumes in 6, 2° (text: 590 x 425mm; atlas: 595 x 430mm). With the half-titles. Additional engraved titles, 261 engraved plates (of 262, lacking plate 35 in vol.1), 5 of these coloured, and 6 folding. (Some spotting, more pronounced in the text, a very few short tears to deckle edges, a few of these repaired.) Atlas vols loose in sheets as issued and laid in 20th-century green morocco backed chemises and slipcases, text vols in 20th-century green quarter morocco.
FIRST EDITION. 'THIS IMPORTANT WORK MARKED A TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES and served as a model for other works of a similar kind' (Blackmer). A tall copy with deckle edges, the atlas in the original sheets. The French military intervention in Morea during the Greek War of Independence afforded the opportunity for the 'first attempt at a systematic scientific study of Greece'. The scientific expedition, divided into architecture, archaeology and natural sciences, amassed invaluable topographical, geographical, botanical and zoological information. Blouet prepared the architectural and archaeological findings; his reconstructions of major Greek monuments reflected his belief that Greek statuary had once been brightly coloured -- touching off a long-running controversy on the subject. Blackmer 153; Brunet II, 1135; RIBA 1009. (6)
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