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Jan Christiaan Sepp. The Book of Marble

125Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)Availability: In Stock
In 1776, at the Enlightenment’s height, Jan Christiaan Sepp published a wholly unique and striking work: A Representation of Marble Types. Across 100 richly hand-colored plates, it traced an elegant visual journey through 570 different marble types. This facsimile edition, a world first, devotedly brings to life a forgotten book of great knowledge and rare beauty.
Famous First Edition: First printing of 10,000 numbered copiesHardcover in slipcase9.6 x 12.0 in.4.09 lb312 pages

“Beautifully reproduced.”


“A marvel that brings the true beauty of stone to life. A fascinating visual journey through 570 different types of marble that honors Sepp's forgotten work with great expertise. An absolute must!”


“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.”

The Mineralogical Record
Sepp, Marble

Sepp, Marble


A Marvel in Marble

The true beauty of stone presented by Dutch publisher Jan Christiaan Sepp

Over the course of the 18th century, beautiful books that categorized, 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.

Published in 1776 at the peak of the Enlightenment, A Representation of Marble Types was one such edition: it depicted 570 samples across 100 color plates, accompanied by texts in five languages and took the standards of both aesthetics and categorization to a whole new level. Today, it is regarded, rightly, as one of the finest illustrated scientific books of the era.

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 Insects of the Netherlands. But it was his son who created the visual masterpiece
A Representation of Marble Types, 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-colored 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
A Representation of Marble Types 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.

The author

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, until his retirement in 2021. Koot 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 Marble
Hardcover in slipcase24.3 x 30.4 cm1.85 kg312 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-9434-9

Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)
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2 Ratings

Customer,November 22, 2023
Delightful, thorough reference source book. Beautifully produced.

Magnifique ouvrage…

Christiane G.,July 2, 2023
Nous avons offert ce livre à un ami très amateur de marbre qui avait déjà de nombreux ouvrages sur ce sujet, il en est absolument ravi !