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ARTARIA, Ferdinando.

Nuova Descrizione del Duomo di Milano con Prospetti e Tavole incise in Rame.

Published: Milan: Ferdinando Artaria, 1820

Stock code: 102865

Price: £675

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First edition of this attractive grand tour guide book to the duomo in Milan, fairly uncommon in the first edition with just 16 showing on OCLC. This copy with significantly more of the pleasingly sepia-toned plates than any of those listed that offer a collation, most with just 15. From the library of Sarah Frances Bell (1798-1857), with her attractive armorial bookplate to the front pastedown. Bell married Sir John James Walsham (1805-1874), in 1826 at Bury St. Edmunds, becoming Lady Walsham. The historical notes on the cathedral church’s centuries-long construction include a description of the new facade ordered to be completed by Napoleon when he crowned himself king of Italy in the Duomo 1805. Believing that the French government would make cover the cost, Carlo Pellicani finished Buzzi’s famed neo-Gothic facade in just seven years, even though the French treasury never completed payment Napoleon was honoured with a statue placed atop one of the duomo’s famous spires. Artaria (1781-1843) founded his printing company in 1800, and by 1805 was issuing prints, maps, and music in Milan, and was later the first printer to introduce Alois Senefelder’s system of lithography into Italy. The firm later became well known for their daguerreotype images sold to tourists.

Small quarto (234 167 mm). Uncut in original boards, title inked to spine. Engraved title page, lithographed frontispiece in sepia, and 21 other similar plates, plan. Somewhat rubbed at the extremities and a little soiled, light browning, and some foxing throughout, one plate with one corner torn away, touching the plate mark but not the image, and two short splits, repaired with archival tissue verso, last plate mounted on the rear endpaper, overall very good.

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