LAFRERI, Antonio. Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae. [Rome, plates dated 1544-79, watermarks dated 1567-80, issued circa 1580].
2°(500 x 350mm.). Engraved title by Duperac, 121 engraved plates on 115 sheets, including 2 plans and one panorama of Rome, the majority by Lafreri, 2 by Salamanca, 5 by Duperac, 3 by Duchet, including 29 double-page plates (25 trimmed to plate with margins extended to size), and 3 folding plates (light damp staining throughout, mostly to margins, 6 plates torn with loss, 3 with margins slightly shaved, one with small hole, 8 with tears at margin or along fold, title cleanly torn with slight loss at margins). Contemporary panelled vellum, gilt, covers with central gilt arabesques and lettered H.Morin de Lavallee, spine flat in nine compartments, lettered and tooled in gilt, g.e. (lower corners slightly rubbed, covers stained). Provenance: H.Morin de Lavallee (binding).
An interesting issue of the Speculum in a contemporary binding, probably assembled in the early 1580's by Claude Duchet after the death of Lafreri in 1577. Duchet, his nephew, took over the business in 1580 and on his death in 1586, the publishing of the plates was continued by his heirs. The Speculum was a publisher's collection of prints illustrating the architecture and sculpure of ancient and renaissance Rome, produced to appeal to the wealthy pilgrim or tourist. Lafreri arrived in Rome around 1540 and set up as a printseller, joining Antonio Salamanca in partnership in 1553. Salamanca died in 1562, and Lafreri began issuing collections of prints based on Salamanca's plates as well as commissioning other artists such as Vico and Duperac. In 1573 Lafreri published a catalogue of prints allowing clients to assemble their own copies of the Speculum, and hence each copy of the work is quite individual and different. The engraved title was commissioned from Duperac after 1573. The plates in this collection accord to Huelsen Das Speculum Romanum Magnificientiae des Antonio Lafreri, 1921, numbers 1-5,7-10,12-17,19,22-23,38-62,64, 66-82,84-93,95, 97-98,100-109,113-115, 117,125-127,129,140-141,143, 153-154, many with strong impressions and early states with Lafreri's name on the plate. Sold as a collection of prints not subject to return.