DAHLBERG, Erik Jonsson, Count (1625-1703). Suecia antiqua et moderna [vols. II-III: hodierna]. [Stockholm, 1692-1713 and later].
3 vols. in one, oblong 2o (361 x 468 mm). 354 etched and engraved plates (the list of plates at end calling for 352, but numbers "46" in vol. II and "38" in vol. III each consisting of two separate plates), of which 3 double-page and 10 folding, several others printed on two joined sheets; including 3 engraved volume titles, two portraits of King Charles XI of Sweden, a portrait of Dahlberg, and maps, plans, and views by various engravers including J. van den Aveele, Willem Swidde, Jean Marot, Jean Le Pautre, A. Perelle, J. J. von Sandrart, and E. Reitz, most after Count Dahlberg's drawings, the numbering of the plates corresponding to the numeration in the 13-page letterpress index at end. About 158 of the plates cut round platemark and mounted, indicating probable later issue; these are mostly in vols. II and III. (Vol. I title torn and repaired, browning to a few plates in vol. III, some of the multiple sheet plates from two separate states or printings, some of these with one section cut down and mounted and the other with its integral margins.) 18th-century Swedish mottled calf over thick boards, spine compartments gold tooled with drawer-handle and coquillage tools, red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, edges paste-patterned blue and red, marbled pastedowns (extremities quite rubbed, some scrapes to sides, upper inner hinge cracked). Provenance: ?L. B. Sottie? (18th-century signature).
In 1661 Count Dahlberg, Governor of Livonia and Chancellor of the University of Tartu (Estonia), obtained a commission from the Swedish goverment to compile a visual archive of the country's architectural treasures. A team of 18 engravers was hired to transfer his drawings to copperplate (a few of the drawings were by David Klocker-Ehrenstrahl and Elias Brenner). Per Lagerlf wrote a Latin text, but it was only partially printed and never published (it appears in a few copies). It took 21 years to complete the printing of the plates, and the sheets continued to be published throughout the 18th and into the 19th century. During the years in storage many sheets suffered damage to the margins; later issues are thus often characterized by renewed margins. A small number of copies were issued in 1772, with a new title bearing that date.
The present copy is a mixed set, with fewer than half of the plates remargined. Some of the plates are on mid-18th-century paper, and some plates in vol. III may be even later. We have traced no other examples of the variant volume I title, with "moderna" replacing "hodierna"; it is probably a later issue (the title is mounted). Berlin Katalog 2256; Brunet V, 578. Sold as a collection of plates, not subject to return.