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Descripción De Un Pavimento En Mosayco Descubierto En La Antigua Itálica, Hoy Santiponce, En Las Cercanías De Sevilla, Accompañada Con Varias Investigationes Sobre La Pintura En Mosayco De Los Antiguos Y Sobre Los Monumentos De Este Genero Ineditos; Escrita Por Don Alexandro De Laborde. [Epigraph]

Alexandre Louis Joseph de Laborde Count

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Description d'un pavé en mosaïque découvert dans l'ancienne ville d'Italica., Spanish.]

Variant Title

Mosayco De Itálica
Description De Un Pavimento de Mosayco Descubierto En Las Ruinas De Italica


En Madrid.: , M. DCCCVI.

Physical Description

[6], 103, [1] p., [22] pl. (incl. add. engr. t.pl.): [9] illus.; 618 mm. (Broadsheet.)

General Note

Plate 21 carries no number.


[Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - Prologo - Explicacion De Las Viñetas - Noticia Historica Sobre La Ciudad De Italica - Explicación Del Mosayco - Investigaciones Sobre La Pintura En Mosayco De Los Antiguos ... - [Add. engr. t.pl.; plates]. (In some copies the added title-pl. is bound in before the 'Prologo'.)

Responsibility Note

Almost all plates are signed as drawn by A. La Borde (one by De Bret, one by Dutailly) and engraved by J. Marchand (one by Baltard, one by Coiny, one by Alex. Laborde).

All but one of the in-text illustrations are signed - as drawn by Alex. La Borde (or Laborde) and engraved by Coiny, Cloquet, Ruotte, Aubertin or Leclerc.

The work is dedicated by Alexandro De La Borde to the Principe De La Paz (i.e. Manuel de Godoy).


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 2 (1995), no. 1708, p. 901-2; A. Palau y Dulcet, Manuel del librero hispano-americano (1948-87), 128973.

Summary Note

Title variants occur in the half-title - 'Mosayco De Itálica' - and in the added engraved title-plate - 'Description De Un Pavimento De Mosayco Descubierto En Las Ruinas De Italica'.

The work had first been published in Paris in 1802 as Description d'un pavé en mosaïque découvert dans l'ancienne ville d'Italica (originally intended as part of Laborde's Voyage pittoresque et historique de l'Espagne, 4 v., 1806-20).

All but four of the plates (pl. 10, 15, 18, 22) are hand-coloured aquatints. Most show the mosaic mentioned in the title. Pl. [21] gives a general overview of the mosaic; the rest show details - some of the border (which incorporates representations of the Muses), others of the central panel (which shows incidents in chariot-racing). A few of the coloured plates show other mosaics (including a centaur, and a fragment from Tarragona). Most plates include a scale-bar. The four uncoloured plates are outline drawings showing a restoration of part of the circus, details of horse-racing and of other race-courses, and three statues. The in-text illustrations (title-page vignette, headpieces and tailpieces) show medals, inscriptions, imperial portraits, a map, sculptures of the Muses (from the Towneley collection) etc. The last two in-text illustrations are hand-coloured aquatints (showing a decorative mosaic and a mosaic of a charioteer).

The text ranges widely over the history of mosaic and chariot-racing in antiquity. It includes references to Roman antiquities discovered in Britain, France and elsewhere.

The beauty of the plates is matched by that of the printing. Unfortunately the printer is not named. (The 1802 Paris edition was printed by P. Didot l'aîné.)


The front pastedown is inscribed in pencil 'S:A:H', i.e. S.A. Hart, librarian of the Riyal Academy 1864-81.

Binding Note

19th-century half white vellum, marbled-papered boards; black morocco spine-labels lettered 'Descripcion De Un Pavimento En Mosayco - Laborde' and 'En Madrid. 1806.'


Mythology, Greek - Muses
Chariot-racing, Roman - Horse racetracks, Roman - Sports, Roman - History
Mosaics, Roman - Pavements - Antiquities, Roman - Spain - Andalucia - Seville - Santiponce - Italica (extinct city) - History
Art history - Spain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Aquatints - Hand coloring - Typography - Spain - 19th century


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