Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Maiuri, Amedeo.
La Casa del Menandro e il suo Tesoro de Argenteria.

Rome La Libreria dello Stato: [1933]. Limited to 480 sets.

An important study of the frescoes, architecture, and silver of a grand Pompeian villa known as 'The House of Menander'. Built in the first century B.C., and named after a well-preserved fresco of the ancient Greek poet found there, little is known of the actual owner of the house, though it seems likely that he was either a wealthy Pompeian merchant, or perhaps a rich Roman who built a seaside villa in the popular resort town. The author of this important study, Amedeo Maiuri [1886-1963], has been described as one of the most dynamic and controversial archeologists to oversee the excavations in Pompeii. He was one of the first to employ a rigorously systematic and scientific approach, instead of viewing the ruins as a treasure heap to be plundered unfortunately many of his excavations suffered from under-funding and inadequate tools, and his legacy remains mixed. There is no controversy, however, about the importance of the silver hoard that was uncovered in the basement of the Casa del Menandro in 1930. "In the cellar, wrapped up in textiles and placed in the bottom of a wooden chest, were 118 pieces of silver plate, of varying ages and styles... a separate box placed on top of the silverware contained 20 pieces of jewellery made of gold and precious stones, along with some gold wire and 46 coins..." writes John Tamm in his review of the book "The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii. Vol. IV: The Silver Treasure" by Kenneth Painter (2001). "As Painter rightly notes", Tamm continues, "the importance of this treasure lies not only in the artifacts, but also in the fact that they were properly excavated, a statement that cannot be made for the other major find from the area, the Boscoreale treasure. ...Just as this treasure has long been of prime importance for the Roman silverware specialist, so too has been Amedeo Maiuri's detailed publication, 'La Casa del Menandro e il suo tesoro di argenteria'. It will doubtless remain important, especially in light of its thorough art-historical discussions and copious illustrations, but a present-day reader, assuming s/he could even find a copy of the book, would have to treat it with caution. In light of subsequent research and changes in emphasis, various aspects of Maiuri's work need re-evaluation, if not thorough revision". Well, we can supply a copy of this difficult-to-find book right here we leave the revision to others...

Hardcover. 2 volumes, rebound as one. 9.5"x12", 508 pages with 189 b/w illustrations, plus 2 folding plans, 14 color and 49 b/w plates rebound bound in marbled boards with a leather spine, raised bands and gilt title a little light spotting on the endpapers, covers with some slight rubbing edges re-trimmed, but still with nice wide margins a very nice copy.

Inventory #: 33010
Price: $ 1250.00      



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