MIDDLETON, JOHN IZARD. 1785-1849. Grecian remains in Italy. A Description of Cyclopian Walls, and of Roman Antiquities. With topological and picturesque views of Ancient Latium.  London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove, 1812 [but 1811 - c. 1823: see below].

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Lot 35
MIDDLETON, JOHN IZARD. 1785-1849.
Grecian remains in Italy. A Description of Cyclopian Walls, and of Roman Antiquities. With topological and picturesque views of Ancient Latium. London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove, 1812 [but 1811 - c. 1823: see below].

US$ 10,000 - 15,000
£ 7,600 - 11,000

Fine Books and Manuscripts

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8 Jul 2020 ended at 13:00 EDT

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Natural History, Travel and Color Plate Books
MIDDLETON, JOHN IZARD. 1785-1849.
Grecian remains in Italy. A Description of Cyclopian Walls, and of Roman Antiquities. With topological and picturesque views of Ancient Latium. London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove, 1812 [but 1811 - c. 1823: see below].

Folio, 480 x 335 mm. 23 hand-colored aquatints by M. Dubourg after Middleton, Philip Giuntotardi and others (3 double-page) and 2 engraved plates. Modern red half morocco antique over older marbled boards, front cover with original red morocco title label, spine gilt tooled, expertly reinforced hinges, all edges gilt. Inconspicuous abrasions to paper boards, minor stain to fore edge of front flyleaf, a handful of leaves with small, faint spots at margins, the vaguest hint of offsetting onto small portions of two plates.

FIRST EDITION, later issue of this is a masterwork of aquatint engraving notable for the beauty and precision of its depictions of ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Italy. The plates are visually impressive--the three double-page images especially so--showing to good advantage architectural ruins, Italian towns, and surrounding landscapes, often in the form of memorable vistas. Author and artist John Izard Middleton (the son of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence) spent much of his adult life traveling in France and Italy where, like many contemporary travelers, he sketched extensively. His careful depictions of ancient ruins established him as one of America's first Classical archaeologists. Middleton deserves more credit as a topographical artist than he has received. A number of his drawings turned up without attribution in other books, notably those of the more famous Edward Dodwell, with whom our author traveled and whose "Views in Greece" and "Tour through Greece" were substantial and well received publications. The book was originally issued in parts over a period of nine years (probably during 1811-1812 and in 1819), with the title page (as here) dated 1812. The plates themselves were issued in 1818 or later, and then combined with the separately printed installments of text. In our copy, the paper on which the text is printed is watermarked 1805 for parts I-III, and 1818 for parts IV-VII, surely indicating that the letterpress here represents the original parts. All but one of our plates are on paper watermarked 1818 (our later plate being dated 1823). Abbey's copy had watermarks identical to ours. Abbey Travel 165; Tooley 328.
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MIDDLETON, JOHN IZARD. 1785-1849. Grecian remains in Italy. A Description of Cyclopian Walls, and of Roman Antiquities. With topological and picturesque views of Ancient Latium.  London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove, 1812 [but 1811 - c. 1823: see below].
MIDDLETON, JOHN IZARD. 1785-1849. Grecian remains in Italy. A Description of Cyclopian Walls, and of Roman Antiquities. With topological and picturesque views of Ancient Latium.  London: Printed for Edward Orme by W. Bulmer and Co.; J. F. Dove, 1812 [but 1811 - c. 1823: see below].
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