The sale of several libraries provided a chance to rediscover a remarkable first edition compiling Sir William Hamilton's entire collection of antiquities.
The history of this monumental work is as follows: in 1767, Sir William Hamilton (1731-1803) asked the historian Hugues d'Hancarville (1719-1805) to list his Graeco-Roman antiquities, many acquired in Naples and southern Italy. The result was these four in-plano volumes published by François Morelli in Naples in 1766-1767, entitled Collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Hon. W. Hamilton, his Brittanick Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary at the Court of Naples, with a bilingual text in French and English. Worth a special mention: the 520 plates based on drawings by Tierce, Beaulieu and Bracci, some tinted blackish-brown (with five in colour), in order to reproduce the vases, sculptures and artefact assembled by the diplomat as faithfully as possible. In its period half-calf binding, it fetched €106,640.