1719 “L’Antiquité Expliquée et Représentée en Figures”, De Montfaucon

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We sold this item at auction for $3,995
 in August 2015.

“L’Antiquité Expliquée et Représentée en Figures” by Bernard de Montfaucon

This stunning complete first edition set of De Montfaucon’s monumental works on world history contains 15 handsome volumes. Britannic Auctions sold this set for $3,995.

“L’Antiquité Expliquée et Représentée en Figures,” translated as “Antiquity Explained and Represented in Figures,” is a significant book from the 18th century. It was written by Bernard de Montfaucon, a Benedictine monk passionate about the historical studies of archaeology and Greek paleography.

De Montfaucon’s antiquité featured here covered in grand illustrated detail across fifteen volumes the social and artistic aspects of ancient civilizations such as Egypt. These sets are well respected and are considered the “foundation stones of scientific archaeology a cornerstone of archaeological knowledge.”

The large folios are fully complete with 1,394 copper engravings plus portrait, thus consisting of a staggering 1,145 single page, 247 double page and 3 triple fold fine copper engravings.

This 1719 first edition is well known to be far superior to the second edition that was published in 1722. The copper engravings are of the highest quality in this magnificent and rare set of Bernard de Montfaucon’s landmark work on classical archaeology. First published in 1719, 1,800 sets were published and were sold out in just two months.

The quality and condition of the engravings along with the extremely rare entirety makes this set highly desirable. Just one other complete set is for sale elsewhere priced at $30,000.

From the Library of Sir John Henry Thorold

The set was once in the library of Britain’s Sir John Henry Thorold (1842-1922), 12th Baronet at Syston Park. He inherited Syston Park and with it, the stunning library chock full of rare antiquarian books and manuscripts – a Gutenberg Bible among them.

The estate and glorious library eventually passed on to Thorold’s widow Mary Anne, who auctioned the books off in the years following.

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