HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803). Collection of Engravings from Ancient Vases Mostly of Pure Greek Workmanship. Naples: Tischbein, 1791.

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HAMILTON, Sir William (1730-1803). Collection of Engravings from Ancient Vases Mostly of Pure Greek Workmanship discovered in Sepulchres in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies but chiefly in the Neighbourhood of Naples during the course of the Years MDCCLXXXIX and MDCCLXXXX now in the Possession of Sir W.m Hamilton. His Britannic Maiestaty's Envoy Extra.y and Plenipotentiary at the Court of Naples with remarks on each vase by the Collector. Naples: Mr. W.m Tischbein, Director of the Royal Academy of Painting at Naples. MDCCLXXXXI

Volume One only (of an eventual 4). Folio (19 x 15 inches). Engraved title-pages in English and in French in each volume, engraved frontispiece by Ang. Clener after G.H. Kneap, 62 pages of uncoloured engraved plates. Modern maroon morocco-backed, grey paper boards; preserved in a modern natural linen clampshell box.

Provenance: with the monogram of William McCarty-Cooper  (1938 - 1991), interior designer and art-collector, on the spine label of the clamshell box, his sale Christie's 25 January 1992, lot 29

First edition, volume one only. The text records Hamilton's second collection and is particularly valuable because one-third of the collection was lost when the ship transporting it to England sank off the Scilly Isles. The use of simple outline, rather than the elaborate coloured engravings of the first collection catalogue, was in keeping with Hamilton's original intention for the first catalogue: to be affordable to contemporary artists and manufacturers for use as a pattern book. Catalogued by Kate Hunter