PASSERI, Giovanni Battista (1694-1780)
Picturae Etruscorum in Vasculis nunc primum in unum collectae
Rome: J. Zempel, 1767-1770-1775. 3 volumes, folio. (16 x 10 3/4 inches). Half-titles, titles printed in red and black. 3 engraved frontispieces, 2 engraved dedications (one hand-coloured), 301 hand coloured engraved plates (31 double-page, numbered I-CCC, plus CCLVbis) by G. Cassini and others, plus one uncoloured plate and 4 tables (one folding). Engraved title-vignettes, head- and tail-pieces and initials all hand-coloured, the initials finished with gold.
Expertly bound to style in half calf over period Italian marbled paper covered boards, spines with raised bands, morocco lettering pieces in the second and third compartments, the others with an overall repeat decoration in gilt
A beautifully hand coloured set, complete with all plates, of the important precursor to Hamilton's Vases.
Giovanni Battista Passeri (1694-1780) was a noted archaeologist and antiquary to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. These three finely illustrated volumes depicting specimens from forty collections throughout Italy and even beyond the Alps, reflect his abiding belief in the superiority of Etruscan over Greek civilization. The work is rarely found complete, and the present example with the initials hand coloured and finished with gold is exceptional.
Blackmer 1265; Cicognara 2615; Brunet IV,418.