HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).
HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).
HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).
2 More
HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).
5 More
No VAT is payable on the hammer price or the buyer… Read more PROPERTY OF THE BAYREUTH TRUST
HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).

A Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of The Hon. William Hamilton. Naples: 1766-[1776].

Details
HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803) and Pierre François Hugues, Baron d'HANCARVILLE (1719-1805).
A Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of The Hon. William Hamilton. Naples: 1766-[1776].
Printed in Naples, written by the English, and fêted by the French – Brunet calls it an ‘ouvrage précieux, exécuté avec beaucoup de luxe,’ while in Cohen-de Ricci’s judgement it is an ‘edition splendide et de grand luxe,’ – this work represents the culmination of the 18th-century European antiquarian impulse. It describes William Hamilton’s first ancient vase collection, assembled by Hamilton after his appointment to the court of Naples in 1764, and is profusely illustrated with fine hand-coloured engravings which not only helped change the way art historians looked at the humble pot, but is also ‘of great importance in the development of neo-classical designs for pottery and porcelain; it influenced Wedgwood especially’ (Blackmer).

Pierre François Hugues, an authority on ancient art, had introduced Hamilton to the Porcinari family, the owners of a large collection of ancient classical vases which Hamilton bought and enlarged, and then sold to the British Museum in 1772. Before their shipment of England, all the objects were listed, drawn and described under the supervision of the brilliant but unscrupulous 'baron'. The first two volumes of the catalogue were issued in 1767-1770, but publication was then interrupted by Hugues's expulsion from Naples, apparently for debt, and Hamilton had to overcome the difficulty of finding his copper-plates in the hands of creditors. Although Blackmer states that the edition was of 500 copies, it appears that only 100 copies of the two later volumes were issued (cf. I. Jenkins and K. Sloan Vases and Volcanoes, 1996, p.49), and this, together with the nine year gap in publication, would explain the relatively high number of incomplete sets. Berlin Kat 890; Blackmer 845 (435 plates); Brunet I, 321; Cohen-de Ricci 474.

4 volumes, folio (468 x 370mm). Each volume with 2 hand-coloured titles in English and French and an engraved frontispiece/ dedication to George III, hand-coloured and plain plates, illustrations, culs-de-lampe and historiated initials, numbered 1-130 in volumes I, II and IV, and from 1-132 in vol. III, comprising a total of 522 (marginal tear to one plate in vol. III). Finely-bound in contemporary Etruscan-style russia decorated in gilt and blind, covers with Greek key-pattern borders and fan-shaped corner-pieces, spines gilt, gilt inner dentelles, marbled edges (joints, spine and corners restored, extremities rubbed and scuffed). Provenance: Chirk Castle (sold by Christie’s 21 June 2004, lot 587).
Special notice
No VAT is payable on the hammer price or the buyer's premium for this lot. Please see the VAT Symbols and Explanation section of the Conditions of Sale for further information

Brought to you by

Thomas Venning
Thomas Venning Head of Department

More from Valuable Books and Manuscripts

View All
View All