SALY, JACQUES FRANÇOIS. 1717-1776.
Vasa a se inventa atq. studii causa delin. et incisa. [Rome]: 1746.
Folio (364 x 242 mm). Etched throughout comprising an allegorical title page and 30 plates by and after Saly. Contemporary vellum. Light spotting to title, a little pale corner dampstain to first few plates, binding lightly rubbed with two cracks to vellum and minor dampstain.
WITH: A complete set of drawings after Saly's plates in pencil (25) and pencil and wash (5), late 18th century. Housed together in custom clamshell box.
Provenance: [Antoine] Gilis (ownership inscription on title).
FIRST ISSUE, FINE IMPRESSIONS ON LARGE AND THICK PAPER, AND WITH A COMPLETE SUITE OF DRAWINGS. This is probably the most beautiful vase book of the 18th century, with unusually whimsical and energetic designs. It was published while Saly was a student at the Academie de Rome (1740-1748) and eight years after he won the Prix de Rome. Saly returned to France in 1750 to join the Académie Royale and briefly served as royal sculptor. He was the first sculptor to receive the Order of Saint Michel and is considered one of the most original artisans of his time. The ownership inscription appears to be that of fellow sculptor Antoine Gilis [1702-1781who was one of Saly's first teachers (see Gilis's biography by Hénault, 1898). This is a highly desirable copy of a very rare work; only one other complete set appears in the auction records for the past 30 years. Berlin Katalog 1064; Cicognara 2103; Guilmard p 211; Piranèse et les Français pp 327ff.