OTTLEY, WILLIAM YOUNG. 1771-1836.
The Italian School of Design: being a Series of Fac-similes of Original Drawings. London: for the Author / Taylor and Hessey, 1823.
Folio (565 x 400 mm). , ii, , 72, [2, duplicate copy of pp 1-2],  pp. 72 mostly etched and aquatint plates by G. Bartolozzi, J.J. de Claussin, F.C. Lewis, G. Lewis, W. Long, G. Vandramini, J. Vivares, T. Vivares, Ottley, and others, printed in various tints, 6 being present in 3 states (variously etching, etching with aquatint, and before letters), and 26 being present in 2 states, plus 2 proofs of headpieces on india paper mounted, a few of the additional states inlaid. Period diced russia, covers gilt with broad border of alternating palmette and floral devices surrounding elaborate corner-pieces and multiple-filet rules, wide gilt turn-ins. A few plates and text-leaves toned or lightly foxed, rebacked preserving some of original spine.
Provenance: Joseph Neeld , Conservative MP for Chippenham and himself a noted art collector (bookplate).
LARGE-PAPER COPY, the most expensive issue with multiple proof plates, and with AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED of Ottley mounted on a stub. Ottley's correspondent is Dawson Turner [1775-1858], the English banker, botanist and antiquary whose Architectural Antiquities of Normandy (1822) featured etchings by his friend John Sell Cotman. In the 1¼-page January 23, 1819 letter, Ottley discusses in detail the forthcoming completion of the present work. The binding may be by Philipp Selenka of Wiesbaden, who is known to have bound other large-paper Ottleys and who favored unusual endpapers like the lilac-coated examples found here.
The drawings, taken from Ottley's own collection, were "engraved in exact conformity to the originals," and issued by serial subscription from 1808. Each number contained 4 or occasionally 5 plates at the price of one guinea. Later, the work could be had complete from Taylor and Hessey, priced at £12 in boards, 18 guineas for the large-paper issue, or a full 24 guineas with proof plates as here. Almost half the plates reproduce drawings by Michelangelo and Raphael. Brunet IV 255; Graesse V 63; Lowndes IV p 1740.