SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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GELL, Sir William.
The Topography of Troy, And Its Vicinity; Illustrated and Explained by Drawings and Descriptions...

London: C. Whittingham for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, 1804.
BL; GL; Weber 1; Abbey 399; Lascarides 81; Brunet II, 1519 (cites a second ed of 1807, but unconfirmed); Bobins 143.
London: C. Whittingham for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, 1804.

FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. Small folio, 30 hand coloured aquatints, together with the vignettes in the letterpress. Contemporary Russia, raised bands in gilt to spine, title label to spine, edges red. Bobins bookplate. A pioneer work with hand-coloured plates of great quality: "the most beautiful book on Troy ever produced" (Lascarides). In this work Gell published his findings which established the approximate site of Homeric Troy for the first time in the modern era. Sir William Gell, a classical archeologist and traveller, prepared his own sketches for most of the plates. Rightly, they are known for their exactness and attention to minute detail. Gell also published works on Pompeii and ancient Rome: all three were considered the standard treatises of their era, and remain important as an historical record of the topography of the time and of the state of the archaeological remains. Gell visited Troad in the December of 1801. Coloured plates in order: 1. Vignette. Plain of Troy (title page). 2-3. [Not named]. Three strip views each. 4. Untitled. Small view of the village of Baba, at the head of page 21. 5. Untitled. Three strip views. 6. View from the Eastern side of Alexandria Troas. 7. View near Chicle. No.1 8. View near Chicle. No.2 9. [Not named]. Three strip views. 10. [Not named]. A pair of strip views. 11. Untitled. A small sketch view of part of the coast from the tumulus of Archilles, to the castle of Koum Kale. Text on page 31. 12. [Not named]. A pair of strip views. 13. [Not named]. A view at the head of text page 35. Where the rivers Scamander and Simois, flow into the Hellespont. 14. Untitled. Two strip views. 15. View from a burial ground of the Bridge of Simois and Scarmander. 16-17. [Not named]. Strip views. 18. View of the Plain of Troy from the Tob of Antilochus. Panorama (slightly torn and damaged). 19. [Not named]. Small view at head of text page 62. The tumulus of Antilochus. 20. [Not named]. View at the head of page 64 of text. Tumulus of Archilles and Patroclus. 21. View from the tomb of Achilles. 22. Untitled. View at the head of page 69 of text. The road from Kallifatli to Koum Kevi approaches the banks of the Simois. 23. [Not named]. View at the head of page 70 of text. The river Simois. 24. [Not named]. View at the head of page 72 of text. Where the road from Bounarbashi to Kallifatli touches the banks of the Simois. 25. Warm Source of the Scarmander. 26. Cold Spring of the Scarmander. 27. Bounarbashi. No.1 28. Bournarbashi. No.2 29. View from the Aga's house. 30. View towards the Hellespont from Bournabashi. 31. View South from Aga's House, at Bournabashi. 32. View North East from the hill of Bournabashi. 33. [Not named]. A view at the head of page 91 of text. The circuit of the walls of Troy. 34. View of the Tumuli on the Hill of Bournabashi. 35. Bournabashi, view from the Acropolis (folding plate). 36. Foundations on the summit of the hill of Bournabashi. 37. View West from the Pergama. 38. [Not named]. View at the head of page 102 of text. The hill of Pergama. 39. [Not named]. Small view at the head of page 104 of text. Foundations of the wall of Troy. 40. View of the hill of Bournabashi, from the Vale of the Simois (folding plate). 40. [Not named]. Small aquatint in bas relief at the head of text page 106. 41. (Map) Plan of Troy. 42. Map of the Plain of Troy.