“The plates – each meticulously hand-colored and arranged with painstaking precision – offer an abstract-art feel that gives the recent volume a reinvigorated slant, arousing the contemporary senses of modern readers.”
“…mesmerizing doesn’t even begin to describe the exquisite patterns on these stones.”
“This true polyglot edition with 100 brilliant, hand-colored plates of marble specimens from all parts of Europe is one of the finest works to come from the Amsterdam scientific publishing firm of Jan Christiaan Sepp.”
Jan Christiaan Sepp. The Book of MarbleFamous First Edition: First printing of 10,000 numbered copiesHardcover in slipcase, 9.6 x 12.0 in., 4.09 lb, 312 pages125Edition: English, French, German (Famous First Edition)Availability: In Stock
A Marvel in Marble
The true beauty of stone captured by Jan Christiaan Sepp
Over the course of the 18th century, beautiful books that categorised, annotated, and illuminated the Enlightenment pursuit of learning across Europe had become increasingly popular. Knowledge was everything and everywhere, and these books provided it for those not wealthy enough to build their own personal collections of rare and exotic objects. Marmor Soorten, one such edition, took the standards of both aesthetics and categorisation to a whole new level.
Jan Christiaan Sepp and his father Christian – himself a respected collector – had already earned a reputation for luxury publications on scientific themes, starting with Christian’s own Nederlandsche Insecten (Insects of the Netherlands). But it was his son who created the visual masterpiece Marmor Soorten, revising an existing German publication from 1775 by Adam Ludwig Wirsing. The result – published in 11 instalments to a print run of around 100 – was among the finest examples of its kind.
Featuring new photography to depict the intricate details of the marble samples, this edition brings an unknown treasure back to relevance. The plates, each meticulously hand-coloured and arranged with painstaking precision, have an abstract-art feel that gives this volume an almost modern slant.
This edition reproduces the pages from two copies of Marmor Soorten held at the State and University Library in Dresden and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Reprinting the work in full for the first time, The Book of Marble brings that rare blend of beauty and encyclopedic knowledge to a wider audience.
Geert-Jan Koot holds an MA in Art History and Archaeology from the Radboud University, Nijmegen. From 1988, he was the head of the Rijksmuseum’s Research Library and curator of library collections, as well as chair of the Working Group for Specialist Academic Libraries (Werkgroep Speciale Wetenschappelijke Bibliotheken), until his retirement in 2021. Currently Koot works as a consultant for book collectors and auction houses. He has also spearheaded the WorldCat Art Discovery project, a new search tool for art libraries hosting over 250 million articles.
Jan Christiaan Sepp. The Book of MarbleHardcover in slipcase, 24.3 x 30.4 cm, 1.85 kg, 312 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-9434-9Edition: English, French, German (Famous First Edition)