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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Campi Phlegræi. Observations on the volcanos of the two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal Society of London. By Sir William Hamilton ... to which, in order to convey the most precise idea of each remark, a new and accurate map is annexed, with 54 plates illuminated from drawings taken and colour'd after nature, under the inspection of the author, by the editor Mr. Peter Fabris. = Observations sur les volcans des deux Siciles ... (Supplement to the Campi Phlegræi being an account of the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the month of August 1779. Communicated to the Royal Society of London by Sir William Hamilton ... to which are annexed 5 plates illuminated from d[r]awings taken, and colour'd after nature under the inspection of the author by the editor Mr. Peter Fabris = Supplement au Campi Philegræi. ... )
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HAMILTON, Sir William (1730--1803)
Campi Phlegræi. Observations on the volcanos of the two Sicilies as they have been communicated to the Royal Society of London. By Sir William Hamilton ... to which, in order to convey the most precise idea of each remark, a new and accurate map is annexed, with 54 plates illuminated from drawings taken and colour'd after nature, under the inspection of the author, by the editor Mr. Peter Fabris. = Observations sur les volcans des deux Siciles ... (Supplement to the Campi Phlegræi being an account of the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the month of August 1779. Communicated to the Royal Society of London by Sir William Hamilton ... to which are annexed 5 plates illuminated from d[r]awings taken, and colour'd after nature under the inspection of the author by the editor Mr. Peter Fabris = Supplement au Campi Philegræi. ... )
Naples: 1776. (1779.)
[3] vols bound in 1 ; 46.5 cm. (2º)
I: [2], 90, [2] p., hand-col. map, hand-col. etch. dedic. pl. (numbered I)
II: [108] p., [53] hand-col. etch. pl. (numbered II--LIIII)
Supplement: [12], 29, [3] p., 5 hand-col. etch pl. (numbered I--V)

Each plate has a leaf of descriptive text in English and French in parallel columns. Plate I in vol. I and pl. II in the 'Supplement' carry a dedication to the Royal Society of London. For an account of the genesis of this book and of the influence on later Neapolitan view painters of Peter Fabris's original gouaches (40 of which are bound in a copy of the Campi Phlegraei in a Staggemeier binding of c.1802-1810 now in the British Library, shelfmark Tab 435 a 15), see Ian Jenkins and Kim Sloan, Vases & volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his collection, exh. cat., British Museum, London 1996, pp.165--168. Soane had personally scaled Mount Vesuvius in January 1779, a few months before the August eruption depicted in the 'Supplement'. See Peter Thornton and Helen Dorey, A miscellany of objects from Sir John Soane's Museum (London 1992), no. 10. Hooked on Books 5.1; ESTC t71231 (vols. I--II), ESTC t71232 (Supplement).

Copy Notes Soane bought his complete copy of the Campi Phlegraei from the bookseller Robert Faulder on 2 March 1799 for £20. (Journal 4, p. 145). The high price reflects the magnificent binding by the German firm of Staggemeier and Welcher who entered into partnership in London in that year (see Howard M. Nixon and M.M. Foot, The history of decorated bookbinding in England, Oxford 1992, p. 95; for an illustration and details of a very similar Staggemeier and Welcher binding, see Mirjam M. Foot, The Henry Davis Gift, vol. II, London 1983, no. 198, shelfmark Davis 202). A payment by Soane of £0 1s. 6d. to Edward Lawrence for half binding 'Hamilton on Volcanoes' in 1802 (Spiers Box) may perhaps relate to a now untraced copy of Hamilton's earlier, unillustrated publication of his letters to the Royal Society (Observations on Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna and other volcanos, 1772; 2nd ed., 1773; 3rd ed., 1774).

Binding Late C18th green goatskin, onlaid in blue, citron and red; upper and lower covers gilt-tooled to a neo-classical design incorporating Greek-key border, scrolled foliage, baskets of flowers, wheat sheafs and garden tools, foliate guilloche, wheel; gilt-tooled spine with 'Doric' ornament between the bands; Greek-key turn-ins; gilt edges. Bound by Staggemeier and Welcher, probably in 1799 (see copy note above).

Reference Number 3946


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