LYSONS, Samuel (1763-1819). Reliquiae Britannico-Romanae, containing figures of Roman Antiquities discovered in various parts of England. London:, printed by T. Bensley for Cadell & Davies, etc., [1801-]1813-1815.
3 parts in one volume, large 2° (567 x 414mm). 3 additional colour-printed and hand-finished engraved vol. titles, engraved dedication, 7 engraved part titles, 6 of which colour-printed and finished by hand, 4 engraved leaves of lists of plates colour-printed and with hand-finished vignettes, 111 engraved plates, of which 99 finely hand-coloured or partially hand-coloured, 12 either plain or printed in monochrome colour, 37 double-page or folding. (One plate with light spotting.) Contemporary russia by Ph. Selenka, with his ticket, ornate panelled covers composed of a series of borders in gilt and blind with the central panel enclosed by a wide gilt border with stylized foliate scroll tools and cornerpieces, gilt spine with raised bands, lettered in 2nd and 5th compartments, china blue endpapers, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges (spine just a fraction sunned).
A MAGNIFICENT COPY OF LYSONS' 'SPLENDID WORK' (Lowndes). A confident collation is difficult to determine, mainly because Lysons ceased to provide letterpress with Vol. II, pt. 1 to avoid his legal deposit obligations, and because 'Only 200 copies of the whole Work have been printed off, and most of the Plates cancelled; not with the view of making a scarce book, but from the great difficulty of getting even that number properly coloured under the Editor's inspection' (Advertisement to present work). The present copy, although defective in respect of some of the letterpress found in the British Library copy, conforms to the BL plate count. Lowndes calls for 156 plates, but his collation adds up to 111 plates only, and matches the present copy. Lysons' own copy (Jeudwine sale, Bloomsbury, 29 Nov. 1984, lot 370) contained 111 coloured plates and 3 plain plates. The volume title present here to vol. II is numbered 'III'; the third 'I' was meant to be painted out by hand when the plates were coloured, see RIBA II p.1038.
'PERHAPS THE MOST MAGNIFICENT VOLUMES EVER PUBLISHED ON THE ROMAN ANTIQUITIES OF THIS COUNTRY'(F. Haverfield, The Roman Occupation of Britain, 1924, pp. 80-81. Brunet III, 1260; Lowndes II, 1425; RIBA 1984 with extensive note.