BLAEU, Johannes (1596-1673). Theatrum Civitatum et Admirandorum Italiae. Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, 1663.
2 volumes, 2° (557 x 355mm). Text in Latin, mounted on guards throughout. General title-pages in Van der Krogt's variants 1B and 2B, part-titles, privilege leaf as found in variant B only. Engraved title to volume II (only), 119 engraved plates of views, plans and monuments, comprising: 8 folding double-page plates, 76 double-page plates, 2 plates on one double-page, 25 single-page plates and 8 illustrations in the text, mounted on guards throughout, plate 11 Bononia complete with the folding extension. (Lacking engraved title to vol. I, the folding plate of Frascati a little creased at fold and with 220mm tear to image and 100mm marginal tear to crease fold, but without loss, occasional light spotting and browning, heavier to about 11 plates, vol. II engraved title lightly browned and with tiny marginal tears and lightly dogearred, light marginal dampstaining to vol. II, heavier and just into plate images in a few central gatherings) Contemporary vellum, panelled in gilt, gilt edges (extremities rubbed, vol. I spine and head of spine to vol. II defective, front hinge splitting in vol. II, soiling and bowing, lacking ties). Provenance: evidence of stamps removed from front pastedown and engraved title in vol. II.
FIRST EDITION OF BLAEU'S CELEBRATED BOOKS OF TOWNS AND MONUMENTS OF ITALY. This is the original Latin edition, with volume I as Van der Krogt's variant C (no priority assigned) containing 6 extra plates. The second volume is devoted to Ancient Rome, with splendid views of circuses, theatres and amphitheatres. A large portion of this latter volume dealing with Egyptian obelisks is based on the works of Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680). VERY RARE: 'About 75 copies (single volumes included) are known.' Sold without the final third volume relating to Naples and Sicily that was issued in a preliminary edition only. Van der Krogt 43:211.1L and 43:211.2L. (2)