PLOOS van Amstel, Jacob Cornelis (1726-1798), and Christian JOSI (d.1828). Collection d'imitations de dessins d'après les principaux maîtres Hollandais et Flamands, commencée par Ploos van Amstel continuée au nombre de cent morceaux. London, Mannheim, The Hague and Amsterdam: C. Josi; Van Clef; Artaria and Fontaine, 1821-.
2 volumes, large broadsheet 2° (535 x 417mm). Engraved titles, 1p. subscribers' list. Mounted engraved portrait frontispiece and 105 engraved plates (mounted on 103 leaves) in mezzotint, aquatint, roulette work and other techniques, printed in colour, grey or sepia, with occasional touches of hand-colouring, by Ploos van Amstel, Josi and others after Rembrandt, van Ostade, Rubens, Goltzius, van Dyke, Goyen and others. Each plate mounted or window-mounted, some mounts with ink and wash borders, some captioned in pencil in the lower left. (Spotting to title of vol. II, Abbey's plate number 104, and about 18 mounts, not affecting prints.) Contemporary red morocco gilt by J. Wright, covers with decorative border of fillets and various roll tools including stylised scrolling foliage and flower-sprays, spines in seven compartments with raised bands, green morocco lettering-pieces in the second and third, the rest with repeat pattern of stylised flowers and foliage, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.
A RARE WORK LIMITED TO 100 SETS. Abbey considers it 'one of the most important collections of engravings ever published ... [and] one of the most important productions in the history of illustration that has ever appeared.' Jacob Ploos van Amstel perfected a method of reproducing paintings that was never revealed to others, and when he died in 1798, he took the secrets of his worskshop with him. It was not until 1821 that his relative and apprentice, Christian Josi, was able to begin publication of the works owned by Ploos. Mention must be made of the unusually interesting preface, full of historical anecdotes about 18th-century collecting and collectors. Abbey Life 211; Hardie p.57; Hind p.302; Landwehr p.11. (2)