Stuart (James) and Nicholas Revett The Antiquities of Athens, volumes 1-3, engraved title vignettes, head- and tail pieces, 228 engraved plates and plans (several double-page or folding, the double-page map of Greece and Asia Minor hand-coloured in outline), one folding plate torn in two pieces (without loss), volume 1 with the engraved portrait of James Stuart (dated 1789 and usually found in volume 2), without the list of subscribers and errata leaf, occasional faint discoloration, 4 page advertisement for J. Taylors Architectural Library tipped in at end of volume 3, volume 1 and 2 in the fine neo-classical bindings of contemporary red morocco designed by James Stuart, the sides framed by a broad gilt border of anthemium and palmettes enclosing a larged gilded medallion onlay of Athene and her emblems within a wreath of myrtle and laurel leaves and a circle of anthemium, rubbed, spines gilt compartments, volume 1 repaired at foot (using similar modern red morocco to volume 3), gilt edges, volume 3 bound in recent morocco-backed boards, folio (544 by 370mm.), John Haberkorn, 1762 and John Nichols, 1787-1794
A FINE EXAMPLE OF THESE RARE AND IMPORTANT NEO-CLASSICAL BINDINGS, executed from the designs of Athenian Stuart, for presentation copies.
The design of these luxurious bindings, together with the near-contemporary one designed by Robert Adam for his Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro (1764), mark a new departure in English style. The central medallion of Athene was drawn by Stuart in 1753, and appears in the Antiquities in the corner of the plan of the Acropolis. About eight copies are believed to survive in identical bindings.
References: Harris 857; Blackmer 1618.
Provenance: Sir Thomas Dalrymple Hesketh, 3rd Baronet, Easton Neston.