Luxurious set of Piranesi’s masterpiece, called « the Rembrandt of architecture ».
“The amazing engraver of the ruins of Rome not only reproduced the vestiges of the Roman power. After long studies that made him one of the most remarkable archaeologists of his time, helped by an incredible imagination, he gave to his engravings the soul of everything he was incarnating.
Piranesi belonged to the race of great Italians in whom the spirit and the strength of the Antique Rome persisted. He passionately loved these glorious memories and admirably told their story with the point of his engraving tool.” Benezit, VIII, 354-355.
Magnificent homogeneous collection, printed in Paris after the original brass brought back by Piranesi’s sons in 1798.
The complete suite of the « Prisons », « Carceri », « the most powerful etchings that had ever been engraved », is in part VIII in a very bright printing.
This superb set composed of 1189 amazingly well-preserved engravings, including 35 frontispieces, is composed as such:
Volumes 1- 4:
1* Le Antichita Romane. 4 folio volumes [565 x 400 mm].
-Volume 1: engraved portrait of Piranesi after Joseph Cades, 44 plates numbered I-XLIII (including the double-page dedicatory frontispiece to Gustave III of Sweden), some presenting 2 views per plate, many folded or on double-page and 2 additional maps of the Palazzo of Cesari.
-Volume 2: engraved title, frontispiece on double page and 61 plates.
-Volume 3: engraved title, frontispiece on double page and 52 plates, a few of them on double page or folded, numbered I-LIV.
-Volume 4: engraved title, frontispiece on double page, 57 plates numbered I-LVII (including plate XLIV bis and 1 unnumbered). Focillon 144, 153-395.
Blue ink stamp at the back of the last plate of vol. 1, at the bottom of the title of vol. 2 and 3 and at the back of the pl. 2 of vol. 4, slight waterstain in the upper margin of vol. 2, tear in the pl. 51 of vol. 3.
Volume 5 :
2* Monumenti degli Scipioni. Folio [562 x 410 mm]. 6 engraved plates numbered I-VI, no title, ink stamp in the bottom part of pl. 1.
3* Sciographia quatuor templorum veterum. Folio [562 x 410 mm]. Engraved title on double-page and 46 (out of 50) plates numbered I-XIII, I-VIII and I-XXVIII. 4 plates (1 and 7-9) are missing from part 3, ink stamp at the back of the title.
4* Della magnificenza ed architettura de Romani. 2 engraved titles (Italian and French), portrait of Clement III, 38 engraved plates, some folded or on double-page. Focillon 927-929, 933-966.
5* Osservazioni… sopra la lettre di M. Mariette. Engraved title and 9 plates, some on double-page. (Focillon 967-982). Ink stamp in the bottom corner of the title.
Thus 2 works in 1 folio volume [562 x 405 mm].
6* Prima parte di architetture e prospettive. Engraved title and 27 numbered plates, some showing 2 views, some on double-page. Focillon 2-18, 20-23, 121-132.
7* Carceri d’invenzione. Engraved title on double-page and 15 plates on double-page. Focillon 24-39.
8* Alcune vedute di archi trionfali ed altri monumenti. Engraved title (plate 1) and 31 plates numbered 1-32, some on double-page. Focillon 41-71.
9* Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto. Engraved title and 14 plates, some on double-page. Focillon 133-143.
Thus 4 works in 1folio volume [559 x 410 mm]. Ink stamp in the bottom part of the title.
10* Lapides Capitolini. Engraved title, dedication and large folded plate on double-page. Focillon 421, 422, 427.
11* Antichita di Cora. Engraved title, 9 (out of 10) plates, numbered I-IX. Focillon 537, 540-549. Without plate 10.
12* [Il Rovine del Castello dell’Aqua Giulia]. No title, 19 plates on 18 leaves, numbered I-XIX. Focillon 401-420.
Thus 3 works in 1 folio volume [560 x 405 mm]. Ink stamp on the first title.
13* Il Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma. Folio [565 x 405 mm], engraved title, 1 frontispiece, 48 numbered plates and 1 additional plate unnumbered unlisted by Focillon. Some plates with 2 views, some folded, including the large folded map of Campo Marzio (plates V-X attached). Focillon 428, 429, 436-479. Ink stamp on the title.
14* Antichita d’Albano e di Castello Gandolfo. Engraved title, dedication on double-page, 27 plates, some with 2 views, numbered I-XXVI, numerous plates are folded or on double-page. Focillon 505, 506, 509-536.
15* Descrizione e disegno dell’Emissario del Lago Albano. Engraved title and 21 plates (numbered I-IX and I-XII). Focillon 480, 483-491, 493-504.
Thus 2 works in 1 folio volume [562 x 405 mm], ink stamp in the bottom part of the first title.
16* Vasi, candelabri, cippi, tripodi, lucerne ed ornamenti antichi. 2 large folio volumes [828 x 550 mm]. Vol. 1 contains 1 engraved title on double-page and 54 plates; vol. 2 contains 1 frontispiece and 56 plates. Focillon 601-718. Ink stamp on both titles, small marginal waterstain in vol. 13.
17* Trofeo o sia magnifica colonna. Large folio [824 x 550 mm]. 2 engraved frontispieces on double-page and 26 plates. Focillon 551-582. Ink stamp on the title corner, a few foxing.
18* Differentes vues de quelques restes de trois grands edifices… de Pesto. Large folio [825 x 552 mm]. Engraved title and 20 plates. Focillon 583-599. Ink stamp on the title.
19* Vedute di Roma. 2 large folio [824 x 550 mm] volumes. 2 engraved frontispieces, large folded map of Rome and 135 views of Rome, a lot of these with the erased author address and price. Hind 1-136. Ink stamp on the first title, small waterstain in the margins of some plates.
20* [Collection des plus belles statues de Rome]. Large folio [662 x 480 mm]. 40 engraved plates (4 on double page). Ink stamp on the corner of pl. 1, a few foxing.
21* Il Teatro d’Ercolano. Large folio [828 x 558 mm]. Engraved title and 9 plates. Ink stamp on the title bottom corner.
22* Diversi manière d’adornare i cammini. Folio [560 x 407 mm]. Engraved title on double page, 66 numbered plates and 3 additional plates of vases and architectural details. Focillon 854-925. Ink stamp at the back of the title.
23* Raccolta di alcuni disegni del Barberi. Folio [562 x 405 mm], engraved title and 27 (out of 29) plates, without plates 1 and 2. Ink stamp on the title corner, waterstain on the title.
24* Schola Italica picturae. Folio [665 x 484 mm]. Engraved title and 39 plates (numbered 1-40). Ink stamp on the title.
25* [Diverses gravures]. Large folio [935 x 645 mm]. 18 plates and maps, including 4 folded. 2 large pl. with tears on the folding, ink stamp on the bottom corner of the first plate, a few foxing.
26* Peintures de la sala Borgia au Vatican de l’invention de Raphael, recueillies par les Piranesi, et dessinées par Thomas Piroli. Paris, chez les Piranesi et Leblanc et Rome, Th. Piroli, 1803. 12 engravings on 6 leaves.
27* Peintures de la Villa Lante à Rome. Paris, chez les Piranesi et Leblanc, et Rome, Th. Piroli, 1803. 16 engravings on 8 leaves.
Thus 2 works in 1 folio [565 x 408 mm] volume. Ink stamp on the title of the first work.
28* Antiquités de la Grande-Grèce, aujourd’hui Royaume de Naples. (Antiquités de Pompeia. Tome premier [-second]. Paris, les Piranesi et Leblanc, 1804-1805. 2 large folio [954 x 640 mm] volumes. 71 (out of 72) engravings on 53 leaves, including 1 folded. Without pl. 1. A few foxing, small ink stamp on both titles, title of vol. 26 crumpled.
29* Antiquités de la Grande-Grèce, aujourd’hui Royaume de Naples. Premier volume, content les usages civils, militaires et religieux ; le plan du Muséum de Portici, dans lequel sont indiquées les armoires qui renferment les objets trouvés dans les fouilles de Pompéia, d’Herculanum et de Stabia… Paris, à l’Establissment des Beaux-Arts et chez Leblanc, 1807. Large folio [957 x 645 mm]. Plates list and 33 plates on 27 leaves (numbered A-B and I-XXXI). A few foxing, small ink stamp on the title.
Thus a total of 29 works in 27 volumes.
The most beautiful copies of Piranesi’s complete works were bound at the time by Tessier in red half-morocco for the Marshalls of the Empire.
Superb copy illustrated with 1189 engravings of this amazing collection printed in Paris uniformly bound by Tessier in contemporary red half-morocco, one of the most beautiful recorded in private hand.
References : Focillon, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, essai de catalogue raisonné de son œuvre (1918) ; Hind, Giovanni Battista Piranesi : A critical study (1922).