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BILLING, Archibald.

The Science of Gems, Jewels, Coins, and Medals, Ancient and Modern.

Published: London: Bell & Daldy, 1867

Stock code: 109013

Price: £275

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First edition. Presentation copy inscribed by the author to sculptor John Graham Lough: “To John Graham Esq. and his amiable wife, this volume conveys the sincere regards, of the Author and his wife” (half-title). Archibald Billing (1791–1881) was a physician by trade and an amateur artist and collector of engraved gems and coins. A lecturer at the London Hospital from the 1810s to the 1840s, he was “among the first medical teachers in London to make auscultation, as introduced by Laennec, a part of regular teaching” (ODNB). His hefty textbook, The First Principles of Medicine (1831) ran into six editions. John Graham Lough (1791/2–1888) was best known for his ‘ideal’ works in marble, “an area in which he was fortunate to gain the patronage of certain wealthy noblemen. (…) His work reflected an impulse towards novelty in form and subject matter, and an eclectic mixture of sources—from Roman to high Renaissance, Gothic revival (in his church monuments), and modern pictorialism—which mark him as a ‘transitional’ sculptor, seeking to break the mould of neo-classicism” (ODNB).

Octavo. Blue cloth by Burn & Co. for the publisher, titles and decoration to spine gilt, bevelled boards elaborately decorated in gilt, inlaid oval portrait on paper to front board, all edges gilt, brown coated endpapers. With 182 illustrations on plates and in the text. Binder’s ticket to rear pastedown. Spine darkened and a little chipped at head, mild cockling to boards, small dampstain to lower gutter of first leaves, a few hinges starting, sporadic foxing. A very good copy.

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