A magnificent, broad-margined copy (500 × 673 mm) of Marieschi’s etchings of Venice, a consistent set of early impressions, some with the faintly inscribed guide lines for alignment of the lettering still visible. The author of the latest catalogue raisonné of Marieschi’s prints, Federico Montecuccoli degli Erri, associates this feature (‘la doppia riga di allineamento dei relative caratteri’) with the first impressions off the press (‘le tirature precoci’), and on the collateral evidence of watermarks and binding, he conjectured that our set was printed in 1743–1744 (‘sicuramente non posteriore agli inizi del 1744’). The upper cover of the binding is stamped in the centre with the large gilt arms block of Lovisa Ulrika (1720–1782), Crown Princess and later Queen of Sweden (1751–1771). The binder, Christoffer Schneidler (1721–1787), subsequently became the court bookbinder.
This atlas of manuscript plans (frontispiece and thirty-three drawings in pencil, ink, and wash) is one of a set of eight oblong folio volumes comprising a complete survey of the estates in County Kildare, Ireland, of James FitzGerald (1722-1773), 20th Earl of Kildare and 1st Duke of Leinster. The eight volumes came to light in November 1963, when the set was offered for sale as separate lots in a Sotheby’s auction. The atlases of the manors of manors of Athy (1756) and Kildare (1757) afterwards migrated into the Library of Trinity College Dublin; Castledermot (1758) into the National Library of Ireland; Woodstock (1756) into the British Library; Maynooth (1757) into Cambridge University Library; and Graney (1758) into the British Art Center of Yale University. Until recently, the atlas of the manor of Kilkea (1760) here offered for sale could not be located; the atlas of the manor of Rathangan (1760) is still lost.
The identities of the draughtsmen who collaborated to produce the eight volumes of the Kildare estate survey are not all known. In the entire set of 170 plans, only one frontispiece and three cartouches are signed. That signed frontispiece is a virtuoso drawing by Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808), who went on to become ‘one of the finest painters ever to come out of Ireland’ (Crookshank & Glin). Hamilton’s “little masterpiece” occurs in the atlas of the manor of Kilkea, here offered for sale. The three signed cartouches also appear in the Kilkea atlas. They contain views of local houses and landscape and were drawn by an Irish surveyor, Matthew Wren. The unsigned map decoration in the Kilkea atlas is here divided between Hamilton (twenty-seven sheets) and Wren (three sheets).
Bound with Artaud (Antoine Marie François). Description d'une mosaïque représentant des jeux du cirque, découverte à Lyon le 18 Février 1806. Par F. Artaud. Lyon, De l'Imprimerie de Ballanche, père et fils, 1806
The second work in the volume documents a mosaic pavement depicting a chariot race in a circus, uncovered in 1806 in the garden of the pharmacist Paul Macors on the ramparts of Ainay.