Superb examples of the art of the bookbinder.
These volumes have bindings almost identical to those found on similar de' Rossi plate books, indicating that they were most likely made for the publisher; for example, see the Franklin Kissner Collection of Books on Rome, Christie's, 3 October 1990, lot 447.
De' Rossi was one of the leading publishers of architectural works on Rome in the late XVII century. As well as buying up existing copperplates from other publishers and the heirs of artists, he also commissioned new engravings by artists such as Castiglione, Bartoli, and Aquila. De' Rossi not only documents the classical architecture of Rome from the renaissance onwards, but also groups them by building type. The lack of text puts the images in pride of place and the choice of images constitutes the sole editorial contribution of the author and publisher.
2 vol. bound together. Large folio (c. 49.5 x 36 cm). 18th-century Roman mottled brown calf richly tooled in gold to a rococo design with curling leaf tools, fan-shaped tools, flowers, palmettes and fleurons, spines gilt in compartments with a large rose tool; German library label in each volume on front paste-down, a little light dampstaining, going into the top of image of vol. 2, just into the blank upper margin of vol. 1.
BAL RIBA 1057, 2845 & 2844; 2nd work: Millard Italian, 112; 3rd work: Berlin Catalogue 2673