Paris: Abbé de la Chau and Abbé Le Blond, 1780 and 1784. Hardcover. These two sumptuous French volumes describe the Duc of Orléans's magnificent collection of pierre gravées - "engraved stones or gems" - that was acquired over the years. This was the collection of Louis Philippe (1725-1785) that was inherited by his son Louis Philippe II (174701798), The son had the collection for two years but it was sold to Catherine, Empress of Russia in 1787. The volumes include descriptions of every stone included along with beautiful and intricate engravings of each. Most of the subjects are the Greek and Roman divinities. There are also a number of vignettes and cul de lampes throughout the text. There is also an engraving of the Duc designed by the artist Charles-Nicolas Cochin. The two folio volumes are bound in brown speckled calf skin, with gilt rulings to edges of covers, and gilt titling and ornaments to spine compartments. Leather is scuffed and mottled, and gilt has faded in places, with a skillfully rebacked spine in both volumes. Marbled paper endpapers. All edges gilt. Interior pages are in very good to near fine condition. Volume I, published in 1780, is 303 pages; Volume II, published in 1784, is 215 pages. Small folios measuring 8 x 12.5 inches. ART/122820. Very Good.
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