LABORDE, Alexandre Louis Joseph de, Comte (1774-1842). Voyage pittoresque et historique de l'Espagne. Paris: P. Didot l'aîné avec les caractères de Bodoni, 1806-1820.
2 volumes in 4, 2° (580 x 440mm). Engraved frontispiece after Charles Percier, portrait and 270 etched and engraved plates after Liger, Dutailly, Moulinier, Vauzelle, the author and others, and 2 double-page maps at end of vol. IV. Plate captions in Spanish, French and English. Half-title and plate list in each vol., tissue guards to plates. (Some generally light and unobtrusive marginal spotting, final text leaf at end of vol. I more heavily spotted and plate list browned.) Contemporary russia, dyed violet, covers panelled in gilt and blind, gilt spines directly lettered (slight discolouration and minor scuff marks, board edges scuffed at bottom, lower corners of vol. IV bumped).
HANDSOME COPY OF THIS 'MAGNIFICENT, EXTENSIVE AND ACCURATE WORK' ON SPAIN. Financed by subscription, but costing the main part of the author's own fortune, it was issued in forty-eight parts, available either on ordinary paper or papier velin with plates 'avant la lettre' (priced respectively at 1008 Fr. and 1728 Fr). Apart from his first-hand knowledge, 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 Moorish monuments, are in the Bibliothèque d'Art et d'Archéologie des Universités de Paris. United in four volumes, the results form 'a monumental, comprehensive, encylopedic report, in which are recorded many monuments that have now disappeared' (Millard). Berlin Kat. 2769; Brunet III, 713; Foulché-Delbosc 226; Millard/French 83; André Monglond, La France révolutionnaire et impériale VII, 243 cols. 243-258 (list of plates); Palau 128975; Vicaire IV, 742. (4)