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    Sale 7725

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Fine Plate books from an Historic Continental Library

    3 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 186

    LABORDE, Alexandre Louis Joseph de, Count (1773-1842). Description d'un pavé en mosaïque découvert dans l'ancienne ville d'Italica, aujourd'hui le village de Santiponce, près de Séville. Paris: P. Didot l'Aîné, 1802.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    LABORDE, Alexandre Louis Joseph de, Count (1773-1842). Description d'un pavé en mosaïque découvert dans l'ancienne ville d'Italica, aujourd'hui le village de Santiponce, près de Séville. Paris: P. Didot l'Aîné, 1802.

    Large 2° (680 x 510mm). Half-title. Frontispiece and 22 numbered plates, most by J. Marchand after the author, of which the frontispiece and 18 plates are aquatints printed in colours and finished by hand; plate 21 double-page. 9 text engravings, the last 2 aquatints printed in colours. (Spotting and browning mainly restricted to plate margins but affecting the final uncoloured plate, a few quires browned.) Contemporary russia by Ph. Selenka, Wiesbaden, with his ticket, covers with elaborate gilt neoclassical borders, gilt spine and turn-ins.

    FINELY-BOUND COPY OF A BEAUTIFUL WORK, reputedly printed in an edition of 160 copies. The mosaic mentioned in the title (about 13 x 9 metres) was discovered on 12 December 1799 with much of the chariot race at the centre missing, but with an elaborate border featuring busts of the muses and other figures within medallions. These are beautifully reproduced together with a few other mosaics (including a fragment from Tarragona) for comparison (see Joan Gómez Pallarès, Edición y comentario de las inscripciones sobre mosaico de Hispania: inscripciones no cristianas, Rome, 1997, pp. 135-137). Although the beauty of the plates is matched by that of the printing, the printer is not named. Borroni II, 6354; Cicognara 3960: 'edizione di massimo lusso'; Monglond V, 1124-1125; Palau 128972; Vicaire IV, 741; cf. RIBA 1708 (Spanish edition, Madrid 1806).


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