[WIRSING, Adam Ludwig]
4to,  ff. text-100 pls (sm. remains of pasted label on frontisp.).
19th-c. quarter vellum, gilt flat spine, marbl. paper on covers, decor. endpapers (corners sl. rubbed). Very good complete, uncut copy with large margins (large paper copy?).
Extr. rare first polyglot edition of this splendid colour-plate book of the mineral kingdom by A.L. Wirsing (1734-1797), the most spectacular book on marbles ever published. While the orig. Latin-German ed. (Nürnberg 1775) had only 54 pls, our edition is ill. with an engr. hand-coloured frontisp. and 100 engr. and finely hand-coloured pls showing 568 panels, each representing the appearance of a polished slab of marble. Most pls depict six pieces, but others two, four, and some as many as nine. Address on some pls "A.L. Wirsung exc.Nor.". Each pl. with tissue-guard (exc. pls 99 & 100). "While one is immediately captivated by the richness and depth of the watercoloring, often heightened by the application of opaque white for veinlets, it can be see [sic] that under each painting lies a complex, lightly-incised network of lines, almost like rouletting, over which the colors have been laid" (Sinkankas 7281). Landwehr calls it "one of the best executed publications of Christiaan Sepp". The work further contains 5 title and 5 preface pages in 5 languages and multilingual text pages in 4 col. with Latin at bottom, giving the names and physical descriptions of each type of marble, and where they can be found. A variety of types of marble from a number of European regions are dealt with, each with its own separate half-title. In addition to the localities indicated in the 1st ed. (i.a. many in Germany, plus dendritic limestones from Switzerland), there are new plates for different types of marble from the south of France, Brabant, Saxony and Italy, with a supplement of miscellaneous stones as porphyry, syenite, granite, jasper, lapis lazuli, amethyst, etc. According to Sinkankas, this work was regularly issued in parts by subscription. A complete copy like ours, with all 100 plates, is almost never found on the market. Ref. Sinkankas 7282. - Landwehr (Dutch colour plates) 1. - STCN (1 compl.). - BL.
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