Michel Angelo PERGOLESI.

[A Great Variety of Original Designs of Vases, Figures, Medallions, Friezes, Pilasters, Pannels and other Ornaments, in the Etruscan and Grotesque Style; Executed in the Most Finished Manner]. 67 engraved plates numbered 1-66 with two different plates numbered 56 (final plate with small portion missing, just touching the image). 13 parts. Large folio (525 x 395 mm.), orig. pink wrappers stitched as issued (upper wrapper of first part & lower wrapper of final part absent for obvious reasons), uncut. [London: published by the Author, 1777-92].

First edition of this extremely rare collection of ornamental designs by Pergolesi (d. 1801); they document his great success in London after he left Rome to work for James Adams.

"The present work, his only publication, consists entirely of neoclassical designs for almost every type of ornament -- ceilings, doors, wall panels, silverware, furniture, urns and vases, marquetry, etc. -- interspersed with arabesques and grotesques. Because no title page or accompanying text was ever issued, the circumstances surrounding its appearance are obscure, although the imprint lines on the plates show that it was issued in parts, and that the first eleven suites of five plates each were published between May 1777 and March 1785...Pergolesi's primary aim in publishing his designs was not to document his achievements, but rather to provide a pattern book for the fashionable Adam style of neo-classical ornament...Unlike Richardson, Pergolesi was unwilling to enter into partnerships with publishers, and the limited circulation of his suite seems confirmed by its comparative scarcity today."­The Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection. Vol. II. British Books, 55­(& see the rest of the essay for a detailed account of the off-and-on publication history of this book).

In excellent condition. Preserved in a morocco-backed box.

Harris, British Architectural Books and Writers 1556-1785, 699.

Price: $14,500.00

Item ID: 425

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