This October, the two-day sale, Rome et l'Italie, Collection d'un Érudit Bibliophile, will take place at Sotheby's Paris. The sale features a panorama of Italian book production from the 16th to the 19th centuries, with works by Dante Alighieri, Alberti, Falda, Fontana, Strada and Machiavelli. Amongst the many masterpieces offered are: a desirable set of Lafreri engravings, Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae;no less than six different editions of Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, including the rare 1499 first edition; and twelve editions of the works of Piranesi. Also featured are original works, such as a surprising album of 254 watercolours from the 17th century, a rare set of seven original caricatures of Ghezzi and photographs by Canova, Alinari and Bonis and an interesting collection of coins and medals.
The great number of architectural books also reveals the evolution and the political significance of Roman architecture through the centuries, from Antiquity to the Modern era. This collection also shows us Italy through foreign eyes, with a superb copy of the Nouveau Théâtre de l'Italie by the Dutch printer Blaeu, works by the German engraver Tobias Fendt, and French authors such as Rabelais, du Bellay and Stendhal. Another exciting highlight is Prince d'Essling's copy of Saint-Non's Voyage Pittoresque ou Description des Royaumes de Naples et de Sicile, bound in red morocco.