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AN ACCOUNT OF ROMAN ANTIQUITIES DISCOVERED - LYSONS, SAMUEL - 1797. 
Sold by Cadell & Davies, B.& J. White, Edwards, Payne, Robson, Nicol, Elmsley, and Leigh & Sotheby.London 1797 - Large elephant folio, (17 x 23 inches). Hand-coloured engraved title + hand-coloured dedication plate to King George III + [ii] + 20 pp. text in English + 20 pp. + [iv] + 21 pp. text in French + 35 finely finished , hand-coloured, etched and/or aquatinted plates, of which 9 are double-page, 5 uncoloured engraved plates, and large engraved head- and tail-piece, 40 plates in total. Contemporary half red morocco gilt over marbled boards. In 1793 Samuel Lyson commenced the extensive excavations which still today are the main source of our knowledge of the villa. These took place over three years and in 1797 Lysons was able to publish the results of his work in his book "Account of the Roman Antiquities discovered at Woodchester in the County of Gloucester." He also found a number of very fine marble sculptural fragments, including the headless statue of Diana Luna, with the sacrificial bull at her feet, which are now in the British Museum. The quality of the carving is exceptional for statues found in British villas and these finds indicate the luxurious character of the villa.These very fine aquatint illustrations include three coloured aquatint views of Woodchester, two of which are double-page. Samuel Lysons was one of the first archaeologists to investigate the Roman sites in Britain, as well as being a leading intellectual of his time and a benefactor of the British Museum, to which he donated many artifacts. Between 1793 and 1796, he undertook extensive excavations of Roman ruins which were published with his illustrations in 1797.That year he was made a fellow of the Royal Society and later served as its vice-president and treasurer. He was also an antiquary professor in the Royal Academy 1818.Woodchester is most famous for its magnificent Orpheus mosaic, the largest in Britain and perhaps the most intricate. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bruce Marshall Rare Books]
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