LABORDE, Alexandre Louis-Joseph, comte de Description d’un pavé en mosaïque découvert dans l’ancienne ville d’Italica, aujourd’hui le village de Santiponce, près de Séville.

Price : 14.000,00 

Rare first edition of this superb work of which only 160 copies were printed

The mosaic of Italica’s circus, in 22 sumptuous colour plates.

1 in stock

Paris, P. Didot l’Aîné, 1802.

Very large folio [680 x 510 mm] of (2) ll., 103 pp., 1 engraved frontispiece printed in colors and enhanced with watercolor and 22 out of pagination numbered plates, including 1 on double-page. Engravings in the text. Some slight foxing. Bound in contemporary brown Russian leather, covers richly decorated with gilt fillets and neo-classical borders, spine ribbed and decorated, gilt edges. Contemporary binding by Ph. Selenka with his label.

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Rare first edition of this superb work of which only 160 copies were printed. Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur, IV, 741; Graesse, Trésor de livres rares, IV, 59; Brunet, III, 714; Cicognara 3960: « edizione di massimo lusso »; Monglond V, 1124-1125; Palau 128972.

“Published at 200 fr.; this work has been, according to ‘La France littéraire’ by Quérard, printed in a limited edition of 160 copies” (Vicaire).

The mosaic mentioned on the title (of about 13 x 9 meters) was discovered on December 12, 1799 in Italica (today the city of Santiponza near Seville), and Laborde hurried to publish his work, sumptuously printed by Didot, before getting involved in the publication of the Voyage d’Espagne.The description of this mosaic was supposed to be part of a picturesque travel in Spain, and to be published only in a year; but the information it gives to Antiquity lovers on several interesting points have induced me to make it a special book, and therefore more detailed… The pavement described here is the most considerable ever found” (introduction). When this mosaic was discovered, the major part of the race chariot pictured in its central part was missing, but the superb and highly elaborate frame picturing muses and other figures in medallions was almost intact. This work is essential for the knowledge and the iconographic study of this large Roman mosaic found within Italica’s circus.

The superb illustration is composed of 9 engravings in the text, 1 frontispiece and 22 plates, most of them by J. Marchand after the author’s drawings. 18 of them, including one on double-page, are aquatints printed in color and enhanced by hand with watercolor, and 4 plates are in black.

« Edizione di massimo lusso » (Cicognara 3960).

Very beautiful copy of this rare work sumptuously illustrated in color, preserved in its rich contemporary signed binding in decorated Russian leather.

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LABORDE, Alexandre Louis-Joseph, comte de


Paris, P. Didot l’Aîné, 1802.