ARTAUD, François (1767-1838). Mosaiques de Lyon et des Départemens Meridionaux de la France. [Lyons: 1806-22]. [Bound with:] F. ARTAUD. Description d'une Mosaique representant de Jeux du Cirque. Lyons: Ballanche, 1806.
2 volumes in one, broadsheet 2° (570 x 424mm). First work: 59 engraved or lithographic plates, including frontispiece with title, by Artaud, Doliano, Chamorin and Drivet, after Artaud and others and dated between 1809-1822, all but two finely hand-coloured; second work: hand-coloured engraved plate (misbound after title of first work), half-title, title with engraved vignette, dedication and advertisement lvs., 1-20pp., text engraving. (A few plates just shaved, 4 folded to preserve edge.) Contemporary russia, tooled in blind and gilt, sprinkled edges.
A FINE COPY OF A RARE PUBLICATION, one depicting in magnificent coloured plates numerous ancient mosaics discovered at Lyons and Vienne, and the other recording the discovery of the Circus mosaic at Lyons in 1806. Mosaiques de Lyon is considered essential by modern scholars as a witness to mosaics now lost or altered through 'restoration'. The Circus mosaic, now dated to c.180 A.D., is not only charming but an important document for festivals, games, chariot-racing and costume of the ancient world. Its discovery created a sensation and Artaud published three accounts of it, only the present one illustrates the mosaic.
Artaud produced his plates between 1806 and 1822, issuing the first fascicule of the Mosaiques in 1819. He sent a copy of the first part to Samuel Lysons, president of the Society of Antiquaries and author of Reliquiae Britannico-Romanae (see lot 233). Only 60 copies were published, and only six institutional copies in Europe and America have been traced; no copy appears to have been sold at auction. Cf. H. Lavagne, 'Un précurseur: François Artaud', Les dossiers de l'archeologie: Mosaiques décors de sol, 15, 1976, pp.112-113; H. Stern, Recueil General des Mosaiques de la Gaule, 1967); Brunet I, 516, conflates the present edition with another work by Artaud on mosaics.