29 October 2013
ZANETTI, Antonio Maria (1679-1767). Le gemme antiche. Aemmae Antiquae. -- Dactyliotheca. Edited by Antonio Francesco Gori. Translated by Girolamo Francesco Zanetti. Venice: Giambatista Albrizzi, 1750.
ZANETTI, Antonio Maria. Dactyliotheca Ant. M. Zanetti. An album comprising manuscript title within border and 80 mounted drawings of all subjects for Le gemme antiche. Gemmae Antiquae. [Presumably Venice, ca 1749/50].
3 parts in 2 volumes, large 4o (339 x 252 mm). Engraved title and 80 engraved plates and the ORIGINAL PEN AND INK DRAWINGS. Early 19th-century English red straight-grained morocco gilt, gilt edges (some minor staining and light rubbing). Provenance: Erasmus Phillips; Hans Calmann (pencil note on front free endpaper); acquired from Colnaghi, 1980.
FIRST EDITION AND THE COMPLETE SERIES OF ORIGINAL DRAWINGS of Antonio Maria Zanetti's catalogue of his famous collection of gems. Antonio Maria Zanetti, the Venetian engraver, connoisseur, and collector of engraved gems, provided the drawings for this sumptuously illustrated account of classical and modern gems in his own collection in Venice. The description of the gems are by Antonio Francesco Gori (1691-1757), who had also worked with him on the Delle Antiche Statue Greche e Romane che nell'Antisala della Libreria di San Marco, e in altri luoghi pubblici di Venezia si trovano, (see Vershbow sale, part III, lot 759). Zanetti enjoyed showing his collection to visitors, and some mistakenly thought the Gemme antichi was a deluxe sale catalogue and made offers for the gems. Zanetti refused to entertain any offers until the Duke of Marlborough offered to pay 1200 zecchini for four of his gems, which Zanetti excepted. Piranesi incorporated four gems from Zanetti's collection (plates 37, 33, 65 and 67) in his preparatory drawing of his Parere su l'Architettura. Cicognara 3076; See Diana Scarisbrick: "A.M. Zanetti and the Althorp Leopard" Apollo November 1979, pp. 425ff and "Piranesi and the 'Dactyliotheca Zanettiana," Burlington Magazine June 1992 pp. 413-14. (2)
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