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Francisci Ficoronii, Reg. Lond. Acad. Socii, dissertatio de larvis scenicis et figuris comicis antiquorum romanorum ex italica in latinam linguam versa. Editio secunda, auctior et emendatior.
Roma, Sumptibus Venantii Monaldini, typis Angeli Rotilii, 1754.. 4to. (XII),115,(5 index) p., 85 engraved plates, of which 1 folding. H.calf 29 cm (Ref: Brunet 2,1245; Sandys 2,380; Ebert 7528) (Details: Spine with 5 gilt and ruled raised bands, second compartment with lettered red morocco label; title in red & black; engraving on title: a man with a pig's head on the run in a landscape; engraved headpiece and initial on first page; the 85 engravings by Francesco Marroni and Silvio Pomarede show masks and actors wearing masks; the engravings are after ancient mosaics, gemmae, cameos, paintings, bronzes etc.; paper with wide uncut margins) (Condition: Cover scuffed; small piece at head of spine gone; back with crackles; round bookplate on front pastedown) (Note: 'The early 18th century saw an exceptionally active international trade in ancient coins and antiquities and the formation of a number of significant collections assembled by aristocratic amateurs, scholarly gentlemen and cunning dealers throughout Europe. The centre of the antiquities trade was Rome, teeming with dealers who purchased the many coins, gems and other objects found daily in excavations in the city or in the fields of the Roma campagna'. (J. Spier & J. Kagan, 'Sir Charles Frederick and the forgery of ancient coins in 18th century Rome', (Journal of the history of collections 12,1 (2000) p. 35) This was the biotope of the Italian Francesco de Ficoroni, 1664-1747, one of the most prominent antiquaries at the beginning of the 18th century, who combined the trade in antiquities with serious archaeological, antiquarian and topographical research. He was the Roman antiquary best known to English visitors, who acted also as scholarly guide and trader for wealthy gentlemen, students and scholars on their Grand Tour through Italy. His latest work, 'Vestigia, e rarita di Roma antica' (1744), was in fact a kind of guidebook, which supplied an instructive conspectus of the topography and the monuments. For his researches and services he was made Fellow of the Royal Society in London. Ficoroni sold antiquities to a vast number of collectors, e.g. the king of Poland, for whom he acquired the collection of Roman sculpture, now in Dresden. He earned his eternal fame, and the eternal gratitude of Italy, as the discoverer and first owner of the so-called bronze 'Ficoroni cista' of Praeneste, a funerary object which is now in the Villa Giulia at Rome. He did not want to sell this vessel, not even for a fortune, to the above mentioned Sir Charles Frederick, but it was his wish that it would always stay in Rome, to be admired in the Collegio Romano. He was not always an impeccable philanthropist, or honest trader, for he had on occasion troubles with the authorities for dubious transactions, e.g. trading in stolen goods, or illegally excavated objects. In 1736 Ficoroni published in Rome a richly illustrated monography on theatrical comic masks and comic figures in Roman art, 'Le maschere sceniche e le figure comiche d'antichi Romani, brevemente descritti'. In 1750 a Latin translation of this work was produced. Our copy is the second and best edition of that Latin translation. All the masks and other objects are discussed in detail. The engravings were made by Silvio Pomarede and Francesco Marroni. (Both Ficoroni and his 'cista Ficoroni' have their own lemma in Wikipedia, but the above mentioned article, with a nice portrait of Ficoroni, is much more informative. One can find it on: It should be added that Ficoroni had nothing to do with the forgery of ancient coins)) (Provenance: On the front pastedown pasted an armorial bookplate: 'E Bibliotheca A.C. de Novavilla'. The plate shows a winged helmet with an eagle (griffin?) on top; below the helmet a shield with a cross having an ancre in its centre; in the 4 quarters a tower. The coat of arms is probably of one 'Neville', or 'Neuville'; the lithographed bookplate seems to be English) (Collation: a6, A - P4, 85 plates. Plates 40 & 41 have been switched.) Photographs on request..
      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta V.O.F.]
Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      ZVAB    


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