Author Bonaparte, L. Vases etrusques de Lucien Bonaparte Prince de Canino. 1-2 Livraison. [Complete atlas].
Published 1830
Item ID 69859
(Excl. 9% VAT)
[Viterbo, C. Tosoni], 1830. Elephant folio (76.0 x 53.5 cm). Ten unnumbered chromolithographed and hand-coloured plates. Original portfolio (79.0 x 55.5 cm); boards with printed title mounted. The magnificent, complete atlas of this exceedingly rare work. While in self-imposed exile in the Papal State, the younger brother of Napoléon Bonaparte spent considerable time excavating Etruscan tombs located on and near his estate near the ancient city of Vulci. This brought a wealth of Etruscan and Greek objects to light: over 3,000 vases on Bonaparte's estate alone. The most impressive ones are figured in this atlas, with illustrations by the Italian architect and designer, Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839). These objects were also described in a text volume titled Muséum Etrusque de Lucien Bonaparte Prince de Canino. Fouilles de 1828 à 1829. Vases peints avec inscriptions , which is not present. "Bonaparte himself had made registrations of the finds, the vases being numbered sequentially as they appeared from the ground, with detailed descriptions handed in to the authorities at the papal chair... his approach was in fact very innovative at the time" (Nørskov, The affairs of Lucien Bonaparte and the impact on the study of Greek vases ). The text volume is rare, but this atlas is excessively rare. Brunet records only the first livraison: "Il ná paru de cet ouvrage qu[e] ... 5 planches lithogr. coloriées". The plates should be numbered by hand; apparently, at the time of printing it was not yet decided how many plates were to be issued. These ten plates, however, are all that were published. The black and reddish colours seem to have been printed, whereas the whites are added by hand. No auction records found by us in the last 50 years and we could only trace one copy avaialble in the Bibliothèque nationale de France . Light spotting throughout. Portfolio and plate edges showing the usual wear for a work this old, spine and corners with later cloth. In all a very good, complete atlas. Brunet 1, p. 1087. An exceedingly rare, magnificent atlas of Etruscan and Greek art by Napoleon Bonaparte's brother