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Gemmae Et Sculpturae Antiquae Depictae Ab Leonardo Augustino Senensi Addita earum enarratione, In Latinum versa Ab Jacobo Gronovio Cujus accedit praefatio. Pars Prima. (Secunda.)

Leonardo Agostini

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Gemme antiche figurate., Latin.]

Variant Title

Gemmae Antiquae Depictae [title of Part II]


Amstelodami: Apud Abrahamum Blooteling, MDCLXXXV.

Physical Description

2 vols.; 194 mm. (Small quarto.)

General Note

Vol. I: [36], 83, [1] p., add. t.-pl., frontis. (port.), 3, 214 pl. (In some copies the three new numbered plates on Mithraic subjects, although carrying the instruction 'Post Praefationem Gronovii', have been bound in elsewhere. In the Academy's copy they appear in Volume II before the plates numbered 1-51.) - Vol. II: [10], 71, [1] p., 51 pl.


Pt.I: [Add. t.-pl., port., t.p., dedic.] - Amice Lector - Spectatori Et Lectori Jacobus Gronovius [Praefatio] - [Pl. 1-3] - Index Gemmarum Antiquarum Depictarum Ab Leonardo Augustino Senensi - Annotationes Ad Gemmas Antiquas Leonardi Augustini - [pl. 1-214]. - Pt.II: [T.p., dedic.] - Amice Lector - Index In Gemmas Antiquas Depictas Ab Leonardo Augustino - Dissertatio De Gemmis Antiquis Annulorum (Leonardi Augustini) - Annotationes Ad Antiquas Gemmas Leonardi Augistini - Errata (Partis primae ... Partis II.) - [Pl. 1-51].

Responsibility Note

According to Brunet, G. P. Bellori assisted Agostini with with the original text. Brunet also states that the original plates were drawn and engraved by Giovanni Battista Galestruzzi. In this edition no plate is signed, except the added engraved title-plate, signed as printed by A. Blooteling ('A. Blooteling Excudit'). They are copied by Blooteling from the Italian edition (including Italian captions). Blooteling has not reproduced the four plates on Priapic subjects found in some rare copies of the Italian edition after the 214 numbered plates of Part I, but has added three new plates on Mithraic themes. This edition includes Agostini's dedications to Pope Alexander VII and Cosimo, Prince of Etruria (the latter dated 1669).


Brunet I, col.111. Studies of gem-collecting include C.M. Brown, Engraved gems: survivals and revivals (1997); D. Scarisbrick, 'English collectors of engraved gems', in Classical gems ... in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, ed. M. Henig (1994), p. xiii-xxiii; G. Seidmann, 'A very useful, curious and ancient art: the Society of Arts and the revival of gem-engraving', in The Virtuoso tribe, ed. D.G.C. Allan (1992), p.120-31.

Summary Note

A title variant appears on the added title plate: 'Le Gemme Antiche Figurate Di Leonardo Agostini Senese Gemmae Et Sculpturae Antiquae Depictae Ab Leonardo Augustino Senensi A. Blooteling Excudit Cum Privilegio Ordinum Hollandiæ et West-Frisiæ.' Agostini's Le Gemme Antiche Figurate had originally been published in two parts in 1657 ('In Roma Appresso Dell Autore') and 1669 ('In Roma Appresso Michele Hercole'). The plates show gems representing figures from Greek and Roman mythology and history and some animals. The added engraved title-plate shows Romulus and Remus suckled by a wolf. Blooteling spent the years 1672-1678 in London, where with Gerard Valck he significantly advanced the technique of mezzotint engraving.


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; rebacked and recornered in 19th century, red morocco spine-labels lettered 'Gemmæ Antiquæ', spine lettered 'R.A.'


Gems - Gems, Roman - Intaglios - Relief (Art) - History
Mythology, Greek - Mythology, Roman
Celebrities, Roman - Portraits - History
Art history - Translations from Italian - Translations into Latin - Netherlands - 17th century
Pictorial works - Netherlands - 17th century