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LAURO, Giacomo (1584--1637)
[Antiquae urbis splendor. 1624?]
Antiqvae · vrbis splendor hoc est præcipva eivsdem templa · amphitheatra · theatra · circi · navmachiæ · arcvs trivmphales · mavsolea · aliaqve · svmpvosiora · ædificia · pompæ · item · trvmphalis et · colossæarvm · imaginvm · descriptio opera & industria Jacobi Lauri Romani in æs incisa atque in lucem edita. Addita est breuis quædam et succincta imaginum explicatio ...
Romae 1612 [i.e. 1624?].
[4] p., [132] pl. ; 22.3 x 30.2 cm. (obl. 2°)

The title is taken from the engraved title-plate. Giacomo Lauro's Antiquae urbis splendor was first published in three books dated 1612, 1613 and 1615 and went through several subsequent editions. The first edition comprised 133 leaves, mostly plates depicting reconstructions of ancient Roman buildings, public games, triumphs and two maps. Plates depicting the ruins and some more modern Roman buildings were added around 1621, later formalised by the addition of a [book 4] part title-plate dated 1628. Thomas Ashby (for a full reference see below) identified some eight editions of this popular set of engravings between 1612 and 1699. The present copy as described in the above collation appears to represent an intermediate issue between Ashby's editions 'B' (1621) and 'C' (1625). Compared to edition 'B' it is incomplete, with a total of 134 leaves (similar to edition 'A') rather than the 171 or more leaves found in complete later editions. The leaves are numbered 1--134 in ink, top right. The two letterpress leaves, a privilege leaf (leaf [5]) and a dedication from Lauro to the reader in Latin and Italian (leaf [6]), correspond to those in Ashby's edition 'B', save that the privilege leaf (here bound with the Papal and Imperial privileges on the recto and the Venetian privilege on the verso), has 44 lines of italic text in the Imperial privilege rather than the 45 described by Ashby. Most of the plates from book 1 are arranged together, as are those from book 4; those from books 2 and 3 are mostly mixed together. Among the plates absent from the Soane copy is the additional title-plate to book 2, but the book 2 dedication to the Duke of Savoy and the book 3 title-plate with dedication to the Duke of Parma are retained as plates [51] and [95]. The sequence of some 18 plates from book 4 commences with the map of modern Rome (here numbered 111, later no. 148). However, the Soane copy contains a later state of the plate of 'Castrvm S. Angeli' [Castel Sant'Angelo] than that described in Ashby's edition 'B', where the shield does not yet contain a dedication and is dated '1618'. In the present copy, the dedication to 'D. Blasio Pagano' dated 1624 has been added. In 1625 (Ashby edition 'C') letterpress translations of the Latin captions were printed on the verso of most of the plates of ancient Rome (books 1--3), suggesting that the Soane copy, in a contemporary binding with no evidence that leaves have been removed, was assembled between 1624 and 1625. As with a number of other copies of Antiquae urbis splendor, there are also a small number of apparently unrelated, uncaptioned plates. In the Soane copy they are as follows: pl. [129], a view of St Mark's Square, Venice; pl. [130], the Doge's Palace, Venice; pl. [132], a bird's eye view of the Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola; pl. [133], the Capitoline Hill equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius and the two colossal busts of Constantine; pl. [134], the Laocoon. For a full bibliographical description of C17th editions of this work, see Thomas Ashby, 'Un incisore antiquario del Seicento', La Bibliofilia (XXVIII, Mar. 1927, pp. 453-460; XXIX, Dec. 1927, pp. 356-369). See also BAL, Early printed books, no. 1780 [describing the 1637 edition]. Copies of the 1641 edition (Ashby edition 'G', q.v.) and the 1699 edition (q.v.) are also in Soane's library.

Copy Notes The above collation describes the Soane copy only, which lacks several plates from each part; see descriptive notes above. The preliminary plate of the Senate of Poland which usually accompanies the dedication and portrait of King Sigismund III is misbound as pl. [122]. The plate of the Temple of Mars Ultor (numbered 47 in later editions) is present in duplicate as plates [33] and [44]. With the ownership signature in ink of J. Herringham on the front and rear pastedowns and free-endpapers, and the signature and stamp of JReynolds i.e. Sir Joshua Reynolds on the title-plate. The front pastedown inscribed in ink in a small C17th hand Appartenant [2 line deletion] Louis Georges [flourish] and with the monogram LG in red pencil. Another signature has been erased from the title plate, possibly Gustav Schroedter, and the name Schroder on the back pastedown with price(?) Mark/6..0-- is crossed out.

Binding Contemporary C17th Italian limp vellum, gilt double-rule borders, gilt-tooled cartouche centrepiece and corner ornaments on upper and lower covers, gilt-tooled spine, gauffred fore-edges.

Reference Number 4177


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