The First Three-Volume Guide Book to Ancient & “Modern” Rome. In Contemporary Bindings

ROME. Roisecco, Gregorio (18th c.)

Roma Antica, e Moderna: o sia Nuova descrizione di tutti gl' edifizj antichi, e moderni tanto sagri, quanto profani della città di Roma: formata con l’autorità del Cardinale Baronio, Ciacconio, Bosio, Panciroli, Marliani, Panvinio… Abbellita con duecento, e più figure di rame e con curiose notizie istoriche. Distinta in 14 rioni secondo l’ultimo dipartimento fattone per comandamento di N.S.Benedetto XIV.. felicemente regnante. Divisa in tre tomi.

Rome: Gregorio Roisecco mercante di libri in Piazza Navona nella stamperia Puccinelli, 1750

$6,800.00

Octavo: 3 volumes: 16.5 x 11 cm.

THE FIRST EDITION IN THREE VOLUMES. (The first Roisecco edition, in 2 volumes, appeared in 1739.)

I. [2], xvi, 654 pp. Collation: π2, a8, A-Z8, Aa-Ss8 (lacking Ss8 blank and with an added leaf *Ii after leaf Ii1. π1 is the engraved t.p.) With 19 folding plates, of which two are folding maps of (ancient and modern) Rome. 68 engravings in the text. Vol. II. [2], 694 pp. π2, A-Z8, Aa-Rr8, Ss-Tt4, Vv8, Xx4 (Xx4 is blank. π1 is the engraved t.p.) With 12 added plates. 82 engravings in the text. Vol. III. [4], 523, [5] pp. π2, *1, A-Z8, Aa-Kk8 (π1 is the engraved t.p., *1 is the privilege) With 1 added plate and a folding letterpress table. 8 engravings in the text. Includes the four-page advertisement for other books sold by Roisecco.

In addition to the 3 engraved title pages, the 2 folding engraved maps, and the 29 folding engraved plates, the three volumes are illustrated with 158 engravings in the text. (Vol. I with 82, Vol. II with 68, Vol. III with 8.) Bound in matching contemporary vellum bindings, silk endbands, titles in ink on the spines, edges of text block speckled red. Fine copies throughout with some mended tears and minor faults as follows: V. 1: Short wormtrail in gutter of a few signatures at end. V. 2: Short wormtrail in gutter of a few leaves at the beginning and a few signatures at end, occasionally touching a letter. V. 3 one leaf browned. A few leaves toned.

A beautiful three-volume set, describing and illustrating the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque monuments and buildings of Rome. In addition to the 3 engraved title pages, the 2 folding engraved maps, and the 29 folding engraved plates, the three volumes are illustrated with 158 engravings in the text. (Vol. I with 82, Vol. II with 68, Vol. III with 8.)This publication marks the culmination of a long series of developments in illustrated guides to Rome. 

Beginning with the guidebooks produced by Girolamo Franzini and his heirs in the late 16th-century, pilgrims and tourists to the once-again-thriving Eternal City could purchase increasingly more accurate guidebooks to the ancient and modern marvels of Rome. 

In the late-17th century, building on the work of Pompilio Totti, Michelangelo and Piervicenzo de Rossi published their “Descrizione di Roma”. In subsequent editions, the “Descrizione” grew to include the redacted works of various learned authorities. The present three-volume production, the third to be published by Gregorio Roisecco, is based on the final De Rossi edition of 1727 but has been further expanded to include a third volume. 

The work comprises two and a half centuries of scholarship. Some of the significant authorities whose works were consulted, quoted, and extracted for this comprehensive guide include: Bartolomeo Marliani (d. 1560), Onofrio Panvinio (1529-1568), Alessandro Donati (1584-1640); Famiano Nardini (d. 1661); Cesare Baronio (1538-1607); Alfonso Chacón (1540-1599), Antonio Bosio (1575-1629) and Ottavio Panciroli (16th c.).

Fossati Bellani 704; Olschki Choix 17963; Schudt 207