Very Good. Item #6577
Paris: Firmin-Didot Frères, Fils et Cie, 1873 . First Edition. Quarto; vi + 571pp. Fourteen full-color chromolithographs; 409 engravings embodied within the text, many full-page. Bright crimson leather back and joints with cosmetically matched percaline-covered boards (as published); all surfaces stamped in gilt with eclectic neo-celtic-cum-baroque designs. Lettering on panels and spine in gilt. Elaborate patterned and branded endpapers in gilt-on-black. Green ribbon bookmark bound in. All textblock edges gilt. Entirely in French.
Spine joints, crown, foot, and center scuffed, but joints and hinges solid. Front hinge paper cracked but without reducing solidity. First owner's signature and note of gift, "Xmas 1872." Textblock gilding brilliant; some sporadic minor foxing. Water stains at textblock edges, but without distorting leaves or touching text or images. Colors still bright on chromolithograph plates. All tissue guards in place.
A massive, all-encompassing conspectus of medieval military and religious life, with an abundant sampling of major works of art and architecture from Italy, France, Germany, and the Low Countries. The volume is bound with hyperbolically decorative pretensions; despite the gaudiness, it is genuinely informative as an art historical survey—above all in matters of design, costume, and architecture.