A Representation of Different Sort[sic.] of Marble, ingraved[sic.] and set out in their natural ... A Representation of Different Sort[sic.] of Marble, ingraved[sic.] and set out in their natural ...

A Representation of Different Sort[sic.] of Marble, ingraved[sic.] and set out in their natural colours; also set forth with the Dutch, German, English, French and Latin names

WIRSING, Adam Ludwig (1733-1797)

Published by Jan Christaan Sepp, 1776
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(11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches). Titles and text in English, French, Dutch, German, and Latin, section titles. 85 (of 100) hand-coloured engraved plates, by Wirsing. Expertly bound to style in 18th-century Dutch cats-paw calf, spine in five compartments with raised bands, red/brown morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, comb-marbled endpapers A very fine copy of this extremely rare expanded polyglot version of Wirsing's spectacular work on the marbles of Europe: one of the greatest of all Sepp's natural history publications. Sepp's publication seems to have been an almost simultaneous re-issue of Adam Wirsing's 1775 Nuremburg publication Marmora Et Adfines Aliqvos Lapides Coloribvs Svis Exprimi Cvravit Et Edidit Adamvs Ludovicvs Wirsing which included the text in Latin and German only. For the present edition text in Dutch, French and English was added. As well as expanding his possible market by adding the additional text, Sepp also clearly intended the work to be seen as a companion volume to his earlier publication on "inland and foreign wood", Afbbelding van in- en uitlandsche houten by Martinus Houttuyn. Wirsing's work is strictly complete with 100 plates and a frontispiece (according to Landwehr). It was issued periodically in ten parts including a supplemental part containing 6 plates, but is so rare that the present example with 85 plates is among the most complete: there is only one other record of a copy of this edition having sold at auction in the past thirty five years (Christie's, Nov 27, 1980, lot 373, possibly this copy as it also included 85 plates). The chief glory of this work are the spectacular plates. Wirsing clearly took considerable care over the engraving of the plates, but it is the hand-colouring (which was probably carried out in Sepp's establishment in Amsterdam) that lifts this work into a realm where each plate is an abstract work of art. Marble in the 18th century was used to describe any polished stone, so the 500 cross-sections shown here cover a much wider geological range than the the titles appear to suggest. The samples are carefully grouped into 12 geographical regions and the plates in total offer a visual record similar to the trays of actual samples to be seen by a privileged few in one of the great Wunderkammers of the day. This copy is without the section title and 9 of the 21 plates in the last section on Italy, and also the 6 supplementary plates, which were issued without text. Anonymous. "Stone tome" in The World of Interiors, Feb., 1994, pp.100-104; Brunet IV, 1243; Cobres Deliciæ Cobresianæ 1782: 2, 761-2; Landwehr Studies in Dutch Books 1; LKG: XVI 309; NUC: 4, 679 [NA 0090293]; Sinkankas Gemology Bibliography 1993: no. 7282. Cf. Sir John Soane Museum Library [copy with 66 plates]; cf. "Curtis Schuh's Biblibliography of Mineralogy" on The Mineralogical Record website. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: A Representation of Different Sort[sic.] of ...
Publisher: Jan Christaan Sepp
Publication Date: 1776
Binding: Quarto

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