13 June 2002
WIRSING, Adam Ludwig (1733-1797). Marmora et adfines aliquos lapides ... Abildungen der Marmor-Arten und einiger verwandten Steine. Nuremberg: 1775.
4° (295 x 209mm). Text in Latin and German. 73 hand-coloured, numbered engraved plates by Wirsing (of 98), all depicting cross-sections of marble. Collation: A-I2 K1 L-N2 O1 P-S2 T1 V-Y2 Z1, 84 pages. (A few text leaves browned.) Green morocco gilt by C. Smith, covers with curvilinear border of tendrils and pendant flowers, spine compartments lettered and dated, triple fillet turn-ins, gilt edges.
First edition, followed a year later by Christiaan Sepp's polyglot edition (Amsterdam, 1776). An engraver, limner and art dealer, Wirsing took considerable care over the production of this scarce work, grouping the marble cross-sections into 12 geographical regions and achieving the similitude of marble by remarkable hand-colouring effects (also applied to his equally ambitious work on birds' eggs). This copy lacks the last section of 21 plates on Italy, and 4 supplementary plates, which were issued without text. Brunet V, 1465, citing two incomplete copies; cf. Landwehr, Studies in Dutch Books with Coloured Plates, 1.
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