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LAURO, Giacomo (1584--1637)
[Antiquae urbis splendor. 1641]
Splendore dell antica e moderna Roma nel qvale si rappresentano tutti i principali tempii, teatri, anfiteatri, cerchi, naumachie, archi trionfali, obelischi, palagii, terme, curie, basiliche, fatti delli Ré, consoli, dittatori, & imperadori Romani; ... con li più segnalati giardini de gli antichi, e moderni Romani; & altre cose notabili; ... et in questa vltima impressione abbellito di molti disegni antichi, e moderni; & aggiuntoui le descrittioni delle figure ... in quattro linguaggi latino, italiano, tedesco, e francese, per vtilità commune dato alle stampe da Giovanni Alto svizzero da Lvcerna, ...
In Roma nella stamperia d'Andrea Fei, 1641.
4 pts in 1 vol. ; 23.4 x 35.5 cm. (obl. 2°)
I: [8] leaves, engr. port., [1], 48 pl. (incl. add. engr. t.-pl., dedic.)
II: 49--84 [i.e. 36] pl. (incl. engr. t.-pl., engr. dedic., engr. port.)
III: [3] leaves, 85--126 [i.e. 42] pl. (incl. engr. t.-pl.)
IV: 127--167 [i.e. 41], [3] pl. (incl. engr. t.-pl.)

The general title and imprint are taken from the letterpress title-page. 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 unnumbered 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--22, becoming later formalised by the addition of a [book 4] part title-plate dated 1628; the numbering of the plates was introduced in the 1630 edition. The present 1641 edition retains the general title-plate in the 1637 state, a reworking of the original plate dated 1612 modified in 1630 to include a reference to the later year, and again in 1637 with the edition of a decorative border. This edition consists of four libri of plates, each with its own title-plate (plates 4, 49, 85, 127) incorporating dedications; the final 'Tavola Del Libro Di Tvtte Le Figvre' calls for 167 plates including the 'Tavola' itself, which does not bear a number, as pl. 167. In the 1625 edition, Italian, German and French translations of the Latin plate captions had been printed in letterpress on the versos of most plates in books I--III, but withdrawn from the edition of 1630 (which introduced the numbering of the plates). The 1641 edition reintroduces the letterpress text on the versos of the plates in books I--III, which extends to further letterpress leaves after plates 7 (four leaves), 12 (two leaves) and 126 (three leaves). There is also a letterpress dedication 'Giovanni Alto Svizzero Da Lvcerna ... A' Benigni Lettori' dated 1641. The unnumbered plates in book I are a portrait of Pope Urban VIII and a plate of the Senate of Poland signed 'Iacobus Laurus f 1622 Romæ cú Priuilegio Summi Pontificii'. Many copies of this edition, like the Soane copy described here, include three unnumbered plates inserted after pl. 156, depicting the façade of the church of the Madonna di Loreto and the statues of the Farnese Bull and the Laocoon. For a full bibliographical description of this popular set of engravings see Thomas Ashby, 'Un incisore antiquario del Seicento', La Bibliofilia (XXVIII, Mar. 1927, pp. 453-460; XXIX, Dec. 1927, pp. 356-369), edition 'G'. See also BAL, Early printed books, no. 1780 [describing the 1637 edition]. Copies of an earlier edition datable to 1724 (q.v.) and of the 1699 edition (q.v.) are also in Soane's library.

Copy Notes Faint pencil inscription on front free-endpaper John Da[e or r?]ker Bought out of Dr C[-----?] [Mi]ddl[--?]/ Mar 12, 1750/1.

Binding C17th vellum, the upper and lower covers with gilt-tooled panels framing the gilt-tooled arms of Urban VIII, gilt-tooled spine, two pairs of linen ties, gilt fore-edges. Later paper spine-label lettered in ink 'Antiquæ/ Splendor. &c./ MDCXII'.

Reference Number 4176


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