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Jan Christiaan Sepp. The Book of Marble

Famous First Edition: First printing of 10,000 numbered copiesHardcover in slipcase9.6 x 12.0 in.4.09 lb312 pages125Edition: English, French, German (Famous First Edition)Availability: In Stock
In 1776, at the Enlightenment’s height, Jan Christiaan Sepp published a wholly unique and striking work: Marmor Soorten. Across 100 richly hand-coloured 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.
Sepp, Marble

Sepp, Marble


A Marvel in Marble

The true beauty of stone captured by Jan Christiaan Sepp

An exhaustive compendium of marble, Afbeelding der Marmor Soorten (A Representation of Marble Types) depicted 570 samples across 100 colour plates, accompanied by texts in five languages. Published in 1776 at the peak of the Enlightenment, it is regarded, rightly, as one of the finest illustrated scientific books of the era.

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.
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 (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 Marble
Hardcover in slipcase24.3 x 30.4 cm1.85 kg312 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-9434-9

Edition: English, French, German (Famous First Edition)
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1 Rating

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 !