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Museum Worsleyanum Or A Collection Of Antique Basso Rilievos, Bustos, Statues And Gems With Views Of Places In The Levant Taken On The Spot In The Years MDCCLXXXV VI and VII ... Vol: I. (II.)

Sir Richard Worsley 7th Bt.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Collection of antique basso rilievos



Physical Description

2 vols.; 540 mm. (vol.I), 524 mm. (vol.II) (Folio).

General Note

Vol. I: 7, [3], 103, [3] p., frontis. (port.), engr. t.-pl., [36] leaves carrying plates 1-29, 1-10 and 1-11. (In the third group of plates, pl.3, 4 have been bound in after pl.7, and pl.11 has been bound in after pl.12.) - Vol. II: xi, [iii], 120 p., engr. t-pl., [69] leaves carrying [96] pl.


Vol. I: [Frontis. (port.); t.-pl.] - Museum Worsleyanum. Introduction. - Il Museo Vorsleiano. Introduzione. - [List:] Plates Of The Marbles [in English and Italian] - [Plates and text, in English and Italian] - [Colophon] - Notes - [Letter to Richard Worsley from the Senate of Cambridge University, in Latin]. (In some copies the Senate's letter is bound into Vol. II.) - Vol.II: [T.-pl.] - Museum Worsleyanum [note]; Observations On Antique Gems - Museo Worsleyano; Osservazioni Su Le Gemme Antiche - [List:] Gems, Sculptues And Views Contained In Volume II. - [Plates and text, in English and Italian] - Notes - [Colophon].

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait of Sir Richard Worsley is signed as engraved by A. Cardon. The headpiece to the list of 'Plates Of The Marbles' - a view of Appuldurcombe House - is signed as drawn by Devis and engraved by Fittler; the tailpiece of the Notes in Volume I is signed as drawn by H. Tresham and engraved by W. Skelton; seven other decorations are unsigned.

Most plates are signed as drawn by V. Dolcibene; some as drawn by others (Pars, T. Tresham, C.R. Ryley, N. Marchant, G. Reveley, 'G.M.'). They are signed by various engravers: A. Mochetti, Carru. Tiriti, G. Petrini, W. Skelton, A. Fiori, J. Hall, G. Carattoni, A. Capellan, Perini, F. Pozzi, Iac. Bossi, Aloy. Cunego, Pievillano, L. Schiavonetti, Pars, Dolcibene, D. Pronti, C. Antonini and Fittler.

The text printer is named in both colophons, 'From the Shakespeare Press, by W. Bulmer & Co.'


The publishing history of the work is set out in Vases &Volcanoes, by I. Jenkins and K. Sloan (1996), p. 102.

J. Scott, The pleasures of antiquity: British collectors of Greece and Rome (2003); G.B. Waywell, 'Influences on the formation of English collections of ancient sculpture in the eighteenth century', in Antikensammlungen des europäischen Adels in 18. Jahrhundert [colloquium, Dusselsdorf, 1996] (2001); K. Pomian, Collectors and curiosities (1990); L. Boynton, Appuldurcombe House (1986); Antikensammlungen im 18. Jahrhundert, ed. H. Beck et al. (1981); C.C. Vermeule, 'Notes on a new edition of Michaelis', in American Journal of Archaeology, 59 (1955), p.131, 60 (1956), p.324-5; A. Michaelis, Ancient marbles in Great Britain (1882), p.115-7; A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of the Antiquities in the Collection of the Earl of Yarborough at Brocklesby Park (1897); A Catalogue Raisonee of the Principal Paintings, Sculptures, and Drawings &c. &c. at Appeldurcombe House ... taken June 1 1804.

On the printer Bulmer see P. Isaac, William Bulmer The Fine Printer in Context 1757-1830 (1993).
ESTC, T85704

Summary Note

A publication-date of 1794 is carried by both title-plates. Some plates carry dates ranging from 1785 to 1788. But the prefatory note in Volume II speaks of the first volume as being favorably received in 1798. The letter to Worsley from Cambridge University (in some copies bound in at the end of the first volume, in others at the beginning of the second) is dated 1799. The work was issued serially in six fascicles or 'classes' - three 'classes' to each volume. The first two 'classes' are known to have been in circulation by 1796; the third (completing the first volume) was issued in 1798. According to I. Jenkins and K. Sloan, by 1803 the work does not appear to have been complete.

Sir Richard Worsley's collection of antiquities was unique in 18th-century Britain in being composed mainly of original Greek works. The collector had bought in what are now Greece and Turkey from 1785 to 1787, accompanied by Willey Reveley as draughtsman. In Rome in 1787-1788 he had made supplementary purchases, and commissioned Vincenzo Dolcibeni to make drawings to be engraved and E.Q. Visconti to help with the text. In the resulting publication, as J. Scott writes, 'for the first time a collection of mainly Greek antiquities ... was set out in the context of the buildings of Greece and in particular of the Parthenon frieze'.

The plates and accompanying texts are grouped in six 'classes': (Volume I) 1. Basso Relievos collected in Athens and Greece; 2. Bustos and Hermae, from Athens (the Prytaneum?); 3. Egyptian and Greek statues; (Volume II) 4. Gems, collected at Rome, Athens, Egypt and Constantinople (but the last gem shows the death of General Wolfe); 5. Metopes and frieze of the Parthenon, Athens; 6. Views of the Levant and Lesser Tartary (i.e. Crimea) and their ruins.

Worsley's collections passed to the Earls of Yarborough; and remain at Brocklesby Park.


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

Vol.I: 18th-century marbled-papered boards; 20th-century half calf; red and black morocco spine-labels lettered 'Museum Worsley-anum' and 'Marbles'. - Vol. II: 18th-century calf, with gilt-tooled borders on upper and lower boards; rebacked in 20th century; red morocco spine-label, lettered 'Museum Worsleyanum'.

Name as Subject


Art objects - Sculpture, Greek - Antiquities, Greeek - Bas-reliefs - Busts - Statues - Gems - Ruins - Greece - Athens - Parthenon (Athens) - Egypt - Turkey - Crimea - Great Britain - History
Private collections - Great Britain - Isle of Wight - Appuldurcombe House (Isle of Wight) - Lincolnshire - Brocklesby Park (Lincolnshire) - 18th century
Views - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Willey Reveley, draughtsman
Vincenzo Dolcibeni, draughtsman, engraver
Ennio Quirino Visconti
William Bulmer, printer
T. Tresham, draughtsman
William Pars ARA, draughtsman, engraver
Alessandro Mochetti, engraver
Carru. Tiriti, engraver
Giovanni Petrini, engraver
William Skelton, engraver
A. Fiori, engraver
John Hall, engraver
Girolamo Carattoni, engraver
Antonio Capellan, engraver
Giuseppe Perini, engraver
Francesco Pozzi, engraver
Antoine Cardon, engraver
Arthur William Devis, draughtsman
James Fittler ARA, engraver
Charles Reuben Ryley, draughtsman
Nathaniel Marchant RA, draughtsman
Willey Reveley
Giacomo Bossi, engraver
Aloisio Cunego, engraver
Pievillano, engraver
Luigi Schiavonetti, engraver
Domenico Pronti, engraver
Carlo Antonini, engraver
Shakespeare Press (London), printer