LABORDE, Alexandre Louis Joseph, Comte de (1774-1842). Voyage pittoresque et historique de l'Espagne. Paris: P. Didot the elder, 1806-1820.
2 volumes in 4, 2° (c.605-620 x c.440-445mm). Half-title and contents leaf in each volume. Engraved frontispiece after Charles Percier, portrait and 270 leaves of etched and engraved views and plans, some two to a leaf, after Liger, Dutailly, Moulinier, Vauzelle, the author and others, and 2 double-page maps at end of vol. IV, the captions in Spanish, French and English, the plates with tissue guards. (Mostly marginal dampstaining and spotting, heavier dampstain in vol. 2 part 2.) Original boards [vol. 1 parts 1-2] and original cloth-backed boards [vol. 2 parts 1-2], spines with red labels lettered in gilt (vol. 1 worn at spine and spine ends; extremities rubbed, sides scuffed, some soiling, front hinge of vol. 2 part 1 split).
A TALL COPY OF THIS 'MAGNIFICENT, EXTENSIVE AND ACCURATE WORK', including some fine views recording the Islamic architecture of Al Andalus. Laborde chose Spain as his subject because it was then a little known region rich in ancient architecture; he visited all its old cities with a 'troop' of draughtsmen. Their original drawings, including topographical views of Barcelona, Valencia and Granada, plans and elevations of archaeological subjects, and minute descriptions of ancient and Islamic monuments, are in the Paris Bibliothèque d'Art et d'Archéologie. United in four volumes, the results form 'a monumental, comprehensive, encylopedic report, in which are recorded many monuments that have now disappeared' (Millard). A small number of plates show pencilled instructions to a printer about possible reduced reproductions. Berlin Kat. 2769; Brunet III, 713; Foulché-Delbosc 226; Millard/French 83; Monglond, La France révolutionnaire et impériale VII, 243 cols. 243-258 (list of plates); Palau 128975; Vicaire IV, 742. (4)