[GIGAULT DE LA SALLE, Achille Etienne]. Voyage pittoresque en Sicile. Edited by J.F. d'Ostervald. Paris: Pierre Didot l'aîné [volume I] and Jules Didot l'aîné [volume II], 1822-1826.
2 volumes, broadsheet 2° (671 x 485mm). Half-titles, titles with woodcut printers' devices. 2 engraved maps by and after Orgiazzi, 92 mounted aquatint plates on india or coloured papers, by Bennet, C. Bentley, Egerton, N. Fielding, Thales Fielding, Théodore Fielding, Havell, F. Hegui, S. Himely, P. Le Grand, G. Reeve, F. Salathé, C. Soulier, and Sutherland after S. Birmann fils, Boisellier, Bonington, Brune, Cassas, Castellan, Catel, Cockerell, Coignet, Deroi, C. Fielding, Thales Fielding, Théodore Fielding, comte de Forbin, C. Frommel, Gassies, Gau, F. Hegui, Huber, Joly, Lesaint, G. Lory, Maxi de Meuron, Michalon, Moritz, Périn, le comte de Pourtales-Gorgier, Remond, Renou, Renoux, Robson, Ronmy, Salathé, le comte Turpin de Crissé, Vauzelle, le chevalier de Veze, and Villeneuve, plate 63 signed by Newton Fielding. (Variable spotting, generally light but heavy on the first and final leaves and plates of each volume.) 19th-century French maroon roan-backed boards, covers panelled in blind, the upper cover lettered in gilt, guilt spines, top edges gilt (extremities a little rubbed and scuffed).
A LARGE-PAPER COPY WITH THE PLATES ON INDIA OF 'THE MOST AMBITIOUS OF THE ... AQUATINT BOOKS EDITED BY J.F. D'OSTERVALD ... CERTAINLY RARE' (Abbey). D'Ostervald originally intended to issue Voyage pittoresque en Sicile in between 27 and 32 parts, but as he states in the 'Avis de l'Editeur', he resisted this desire and limited the work to 24 parts, in order not to over-extend it, nor weary his subscribers. The remarkable plates are, as Abbey records, in large part the work of English engravers, whose reputation was very high at the time in France and who were responsible for 43 of the 92 plates. As d'Ostervald notes in the 'Avis', 'j'ai attiré successivement à Paris une douzaine de graveurs d'aqua-tint les plus habiles de l'Angleterre et de la Suisse'. The present copy is distinguished by its size, being larger than other large-paper copies; it is some 40mm wider than the dedication copy (the Duchesse de Berry-Botfield copy, volume I only, sold Christie's 30 Mrch 1994, lot 64). The work was issued both uncoloured and coloured, and with the plates before letters, or on India, as here. Writing in 1956, Abbey considered this work 'certainly rare', stating that 'only three copies are reported at auction in the last fifty years'. Since 1956, 7 copies have been recorded at auction by BAR and ABPC: of these, only 2 were complete. Abbey Travel 262; Brunet V, 1379. (2)