First French edition of one of the most famous erotic books from the end of the 18th century.
Vinet, Bibliographie méthodique et raisonnée, 1633 ; Cohen 475.
“First editions. Those two volumes are illustrated with 2 frontispieces and 100 sprintian plates by Denon.” (Rahir, III, n°798).
This edition is illustrated with 2 allegorical frontispieces and 100 erotic engravings from imaginary medals and engraved stones (Cohen, 475).
Hugues d'Hancarville (1719-1805) traveled through Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, posing as a gentleman, seeking for fortune while not always finding it. In 1780 d'Hancarville came to France, shortly after he went to England, where he stayed a few years. When seeing, later, his homeland engaged in revolutionary disorders, he was less than tempted to go back, and went back to Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life.
He published Veneres et Priapi, uti observantur in gemmis antiquis; the first edition, made in Naples, around 1771, under the heading Leyde and with no date, caused a few prosecutions against the author; the second edition made in London, comes along with an English translation.
This is this same publication that was published again in France, with an extended text, under the following title: Monuments de la vie privée des douze Césars, after a series of stones engraved under their reigns; Caprée (Nancy), 1780, 4to; the author gave it a sequel titled: Monuments du culte secret des dames romaines, pour servir de suite aux monuments des douze Césars, 1784, 4to.
Very beautiful copy in a citron morocco binding decorated with a bird-pattern border.