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TISCHBEIN, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm (1751--1820)
Collection of engravings from ancient vases mostly of pure Greek workmanship discovered in sepulchres in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies but chiefly in the neighbourhood of Naples during the course of the years MDCCLXXXIX. and MDCCXXXX. now in the possession of Sir Wm. Hamilton ... With remarks on each vase by the collector ...
[Naples]: published by Mr. Wm. Tischbein director of the Royal Academy of Painting at Naples, 1791--1795 [i.e. 1791--1797].
3 vols ; 48.2 cm. (2º)
I: 159, [3] p., engr. frontis., [2] engr. title-pl., [2], 60 pl. (pl. 26 with impressions of 3 coppers)
II: 104 p., [2] engr. title-pl., [4], 62 [i.e. 61] pl. (final pl. with 2 impressions of 2 coppers numbered 61, 62.).
III: [6], 97, [1] p., [2] engr. title-pl., [65] pl.

Parallel titles and text in English and French. Volumes II and III are dated 'MDCCLXXXXV' on the title-plates but were not published until 1797; the vol. III title-plate is a reprint of that in vol. II with the volume number altered in manuscript. The text was largely prepared by Prince Italinsky, the Russian ambassador to the court of Naples. With dedications by William Hamilton to the Earl of Leicester, president of the Society of Antiquaries, dated 10 March 1791 and 1 September 1794. The work records Hamilton's 'second collection' after the sale of the first as recorded by Baron d'Hancarville in four volumes beginning in 1767 (q.v.) and sold to the British Museum in 1772. The intended fourth and fifth volumes were not published but proof impressions of Tischbein's original plates have been recorded by Salomon Reinach in Répertoire des vases peints grecs et étrusque, Paris 1899--1900, I, p. 334 and H. Heydemann in Jahrbuch des Archäologisches Institut (Berlin 1886), p. 313, and are found as part of some sets of the work. A set of proofs for the fifth volume is in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum. The production of the plates seems to have proceeded faster than that of the text, and the plates of vol. III were issued before the letterpress was ready. For an account of the afterlife of the plates including the proof impressions of the unpublished plates for volumes IV and V, see notes to BAL 3319. The work was influential in spreading the vogue for the outline manner of engraving which apparently originated from Hamilton's desire for economy after the costly fiasco of the d'Hancarville volumes, but became de rigueur for representations of Greek art for several decades. The Soane copy has the plates in vol. II in an intermediate state with the first four plates unnumbered rather than numbered 1--4 as in some copies, and the remaining plates, previously also unnumbered, bearing the numbers 1--62; the plates in vol. III are in an unnumbered state, with later states having the first five lettered A--G (plates D--F being printed on the same leaf) and the remaining plates numbered 1--60. ESTC t71275; BAL, Early printed books, no. 3319.

Copy Notes Imperfect; vol. III wanting the engraved title-plates, letterpress and the five plates lettered A--G including 1 pl. with impressions of 3 coppers, D-F. Volume I inscribed in pencil on some of the plates with titles and names of figures in French.

Binding C18th Italian half mottled calf, block-printed decorated paper boards, gilt-tooled spines; volumes I--II with citron morocco spine-labels reading 'Tischbein Vases Antiques' and direct-lettered volume numbers, vol. II with citron and tan spine-labels and different decorated paper.

Reference Number 3453


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