21 September 2005,
Price realised GBP 5,400
GBP 2,000 - GBP 3,000
GASPARD FOSSATI (1809-1883)
Aya Sofia Constantinople, as recently restored by order of H.M. the Sultan Abdvl Medjid. London: P. and D. Colnaghi & Co., August 14th 1852. 2° (550 x 370mm). Chromolithographic title, 25 tinted lithographic plates without captions by Louis Haghe after Fossati. Accompanying text in French. (Spotting to title, text leaves torn and worn with some loss in margins, plates with mostly marginal spotting, small dampstain in bottom margin, some marginal tears and soiling, some plate-guards torn or worn.) Original publisher's morocco-backed cloth, full title stamped in gilt on upper cover, short title on spine (corners rubbed, tear at spine head, hinges broken, a few gatherings sprung, front free endpaper torn with loss).
THE FIRST MODERN RECORD OF BOTH THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF AGHIA SOPHIA, 'important for the understanding of this stupendous monument' (Atabey). Fossati, an Italian architect to the Russian Imperial Court, travelled to Constantinople in 1837, entered the service of the Porte in 1845, and in 1847 was charged with the restoration of Aghia Sophia. The work took two years, during which buttresses were removed, and mosaics were uncovered which Fossati intended to publish in a separate work. However the mosaics were again covered up and the work never appeared. The present lithographs represent the last work undertaken by Louis Haghe (1806-1885) before he broke off his connection with William Day to concentrate on water-colour painting; the subject was most appropriate for Day who had spent nine years on Roberts's Holy Land. The chromolithographic title is probably by Owen Jones. Abbey Travel 396; Atabey; Blackmer 619.
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