Description

    Rudolf Erich Raspe and James Tassie: A Descriptive Catalogue of a General Collection of Ancient and Modern Engraved Gems, Cameos as Well as Intaglios, Taken From the Most Celebrated Cabinets in Europe; and Cast in Coloured Pastes, White Enamel, and Sulphur. (London: Printed for and sold by James Tassie, 1791), in two volumes, descriptive text in English and French, 800 pages, illustrated with 57 copperplate engravings, brown leather with gilt rules, spines recently replaced with six compartments between five raised bands, gilt titles on red morocco spine label, 4to (9" x 11"), some foxing to the prelims and plates, light toning throughout, some small stains to the fore edges, some ghosting of illustrations especially at the frontispiece of each volume, edges of boards rubbed, especially at the corners, shelf wear, else very good. Rudolf Erich Raspe (1736 - 1794) was a German librarian, writer and scientist, and rogue. He is best known for his collection of tall tales: The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, originally a satirical work with political aims. Raspe was born in Hanover, studied law and worked as a librarian for the university at Göttingen and in 1775 was forced to flee to England after allegedly making off with some gems left in his care. Certainly his intimate and first hand familiarity with gems proved valuable in researching and producing this book. One wonders if, under Raspe's watchful eye, the original gems or the paste made it back to those "most celebrated cabinets in Europe".

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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