Denkmäler des Alten Roms oder Sammlung der vornehmsten und noch in Rom vorhandenen Alterthümer nach Barbaults Zeichnung nebst einer Erklärung derselben aus dem Französischen übersetzt....Augsburg,(Georg Christoph Kilian), 1767.
KILIAN Georg Christoph (1767)
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RARE FIRST EDITIONS OF TWO SUPERB COLLECTIONS OF PLATES
(Bound with:) Ruinen und Ueberbleibsel von Athen: nebst andern merkwürdigen Alterthümern Griechenlands, herausgegeben von M. Robert Sayer in London (Augsburg, Johann Jakob Lotter, 1764).
(And:) Wahre Abbildung und kurze Beschreibung dreyer der besten antiken Malereyen, welche in Herculano und dieser Stadt Gegenden bis auss Jahr 1760 gefunden worden... Vera effigies... trium picturarum... (Augsburg, Johann Jakob Lotter, 1765).
Engraved vignette on title-page and 97 engravings on 54 double-page plates; 12 double-page plates; 6 engravings on 3 double-page plates.
3 parts in one. Folio (385 x 250mm). ff. 40pp. f; 8pp; 4pp. Contemporary German half calf binding, spine gilt, red edges (upper cover joint expertly repaired).
Rare first editions of two superb collections of plates, produced for the German market, of the monuments of Rome and Athens bound with Kilian’s representations of paintings from Herculaneum; rarely found outside Germany.
The first part follows Jean Barbault’s Les plus beaux monuments de Rome ancienne of 1761 with the plates skilfully copied and adapted by Kilian. The issue found here has a rare variant title-page with only “Augsburg, 1767” as the imprint and a woodcut ornament, rather than the more commonly found “Augsburg & Memmingen, Conrad Heinrich Stage, 1767” and engraved vignette. An additional engraved title is also known in a few copies, not present here.
For the second part, Kilian copied and adapted in reverse the plates of Athens published in 1759 by Sayer, the leading architectural publisher of the period in London, which he had pirated from Le Roy’s Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce published in 1758 in Paris. Sayer’s text is taken from Wheler’s Journey into Greece (1682) with a greatly reduced description of the plates from Le Roy (cf. E. Harris, British Architectural Books 1556-1785 (1990), no. 493) and the German faithfully follows it. The three plates of paintings from Herculaneum (Wahre Abbildung usw.) contain six images, one unnumbered (head of Demosthenes), one numbered 52, 53(2), 54(2) and are (apart from the head of Demosthenes) the same as plates 52-54 in the Denkmäler, though the text is new.
The plates of the first part have captions in Latin and German, while those in the two remaining parts are in Latin, German and French. At the end of the letterpress of the second section, the bookbinder is exhorted to bind the plates ‘in the middle on wide guards’. The tail-piece on p.  of part 1 is of a hand press with the motto ’Cum ubertate vulgo’ (I disseminate with fertility to the people).
Georg Christoph Kilian (1709-81) was the son of Georg Kilian and a hugely productive member of a dynasty of Augsburg artists. He published German versions of several important series of architectural/archaeological plates, as well as portraits and much else. Grove states that he had, "a high reputation in the literary and artistic circles of his time. He embodied the prevailing humanist ideal in the truest sense, working both as a talented artist and as an historian, collector and biographer of other artists. Apart from his renowned natural history collection, Kilian had a well-chosen art library and above all a comprehensive graphic art collection, comprising engravings, woodcarvings and drawings."
Provenance: C.F. R. Vekkerlein, 1801. Modern bookplate inside front cover.
I. VD18 14785536 (Memingen, Stage, imprint). Thieme-Becker II, 465. See Berlin Ornamentstichkatalog, 1889 (1782 edition). OCLC (US: NGA, Washington only). II. VD18 11231556. Millard North European, 46. OCLC (US: Getty - bound with part three; Harvard, Winterthur only)..
Stock Code: 232547