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Wyatt, Matthew Digby

Specimens of the geometrical mosaic of the Middle Ages with a brief historical notice of the art founded on papers read before the Royal Institute of British Architects The Royal Society of Arts and the Archæological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

London, for the proprietor nd (1848).

Reference: 6727
Price: £1,450.00 [convert currency]

Full Description

Large folio. Chromolitho title leaf, printed dedication leaf, 26pp, (20) chromolitho plates (numbered 2-21, plate 1 being the title leaf). Original decorative printed boards (binding designed by Wyatt), rebacked. Dedication leaf neatly repaired for loss of blank area at right-hand margin, and minor repairs to upper blank margins of two of the plates.

First edition of one of the scarcest of Wyatt’s publications, and an excellent example of mid-nineteenth century chromolithography. Wyatt provides a brief but authoritative history of mosaics (based on lectures he had given to various institutions), ending with the success of modern techniques and the achievements of the Minton firm in particular, and he points out the benefits to architects of using mosaic. The colour plates depict mosaic pavements from churches at Rome, Venice and Palermo, the printing done by Day & Son, “lithographers to the Queen”, from Wyatt’s own drawings, made when he was on an European tour in 1844-6. The book proved influential for contemporary designers.