14 December 2000
THE PROPERTY OF THE MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM, LE BRUN LIBRARY
SOLD TO BENEFIT THE LIBRARY ACQUISITION FUND
PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista (1720-1778). Vasi, candelabri, cippi, sarcofagi, tripodi, lucerne, ed ornamenti antichi. [Rome], circa 1780.
2 volumes, large 2o (607 x 468 mm). Large folding engraved title-page, double-page dedication, and 112 engraved plates after G.B. and F. Piranesi on heavy laid paper, mostly full-page or folding, no watermark visible, mounted on guards. (Dampstaining in upper margin, scattered foxing.) Contemporary marbled boards, untrimmed, preserving the deckle edge (spines perished). Provenance: Montclair Art Association (bookplates and blindstamps in margins).
Presumably an early issue, with plates on heavy stock. The restoration and sale of classical antiquities became increasingly heavy in 18th century Rome, and Piranesi began his involvement in this market in the 1760s. He collaborated with Thomas Jenkins and Gavin Hamilton who had undertaken a series of highly profitable excavations in the Pantanello area of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. The etchings Piranesi created, beginning in 1768 and issued first in the present set in 1778, were dedicated to colleagues and sponsors of these projects. After the initial series of etchings was produced, Piranesi's son Francisco created an addition 8 which are here present. The complete set of etchings included in Wilton-Ely is represented here. Hind, p.87; Wilton-Ely 888-1005. (2)
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