London, South Kensington
30 November 2001
WOOD, Robert (1717?-1771). The Ruins of Balbec, otherwise Heliopolis in Coelosyria, London: 1757.
2° (530 x 370mm.), title and 46 engraved plates by Fourdrinier and Major after Giovanni Battista Borra, 11 double-page (marginal waterstaining and browning, folding plates cleanly torn, plates XXV and XLVI with repairs on verso), brown half morocco (scuffed).
FIRST EDITION. Wood, accompanied by James Dawkins, John Bouverie and the Italian artist and architect Giovanni Battista Borra, travelled extensively in the Levant, reaching the relatively unvisited sites of Palmyra and Balbec in 1751. He published The Ruins of Palmyra in 1753, and The Ruins of Balbec four years later. Both volumes were praised by Horace Walpole, and the plates of "these unfamiliar sites were [an] important architectural source" (Blackmer). Berlin Kat. 1887; Blackmer 1835; Cohen-de Ricci 916; Fowler 444.
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