351
351
Wirsing, Adam Ludwig
A REPRESENTATION OF DIFFERENT SORT[SIC.] OF MARBLE, INGRAVED[SIC.] AND SET OUT IN THEIR NATURAL COLOURS; ALSO SET FORTH WITH THE DUTCH, GERMAN, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND LATIN NAMES. AMSTERDAM: JAN CHRISTAAN SEPP, 1776-"1766" [SIC]-1776
Estimate
10,00015,000
JUMP TO LOT
351
Wirsing, Adam Ludwig
A REPRESENTATION OF DIFFERENT SORT[SIC.] OF MARBLE, INGRAVED[SIC.] AND SET OUT IN THEIR NATURAL COLOURS; ALSO SET FORTH WITH THE DUTCH, GERMAN, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND LATIN NAMES. AMSTERDAM: JAN CHRISTAAN SEPP, 1776-"1766" [SIC]-1776
Estimate
10,00015,000
JUMP TO LOT

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Wirsing, Adam Ludwig
A REPRESENTATION OF DIFFERENT SORT[SIC.] OF MARBLE, INGRAVED[SIC.] AND SET OUT IN THEIR NATURAL COLOURS; ALSO SET FORTH WITH THE DUTCH, GERMAN, ENGLISH, FRENCH AND LATIN NAMES. AMSTERDAM: JAN CHRISTAAN SEPP, 1776-"1766" [SIC]-1776
4to (11 3/8 x 8 3/4 in.; 287 x 222 mm). Titles and text in English, French, Dutch, German, and Latin, section titles, 85 (of 100) hand-colored engraved plates, by Wirsing. Expertly bound to style in 18th-century Dutch cats-paw calf, spine with raised bands in five compartments, red/brown morocco lettering-piece in second, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, comb-marbled endpapers.
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Provenance

Christie's, 27 November 1980, lot 373 (possibly this copy as it also included 85 plates)

Literature

Anonymous. "Stone tome" in The World of Interiors, Feb., 1994, pp.100-104; Brunet IV, 1243; Cobres Deliciæ Cobresianæ 1782: 2, 761-2; Landwehr Studies in Dutch Books 1; LKG: XVI 309; NUC: 4, 679 [NA 0090293]; Sinkankas Gemology Bibliography 1993: no. 7282.  Cf. Sir John Soane Museum Library [copy with 66 plates]; cf. "Curtis Schuh's Biblibliography of Mineralogy" on The Mineralogical Record website

Catalogue Note

RARE EXPANDED POLYGLOT VERSION OF WIRSING'S SPECTACULAR WORK ON THE MARBLES OF EUROPE: one of the greatest of all Sepp's natural history publications.

Wirsing clearly took considerable care over the engraving of the plates, but it is the hand-coloring (which was probably carried out in Sepp's establishment in Amsterdam) that lifts this work into a realm where each plate is an abstract work of art.  Marble in the 18th century was used to describe any polished stone, so the 500 cross-sections shown here cover a much wider geological range than the the titles appear to suggest. The samples are carefully grouped into 12 geographical regions and the plates in total offer a visual record similar to the trays of actual samples to be seen by a privileged few in one of the great Wunderkammers of the day. This copy is without the section title and 9 of the 21 plates in the last section on Italy, and also the 6 supplementary plates, which were issued without text.

The work is strictly complete with 100 plates and a frontispiece (according to Landwehr). It was issued periodically in ten parts including a supplemental part containing 6 plates, but is so rare that THE PRESENT EXAMPLE WITH 85 PLATES IS AMONG THE MOST COMPLETE: there is only one other record of a copy of this edition having sold at auction in the past thirty five years.  A remarkable and remarkably modern illustrated book.

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