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Photo MARIETTE, Pierre Jean. 

First edition.

Mariette (1694-1774), heir to a dynasty of print booksellers and himself a great collector, traveled to Italy and frequented the princes and circles of print lovers for whom he surveyed the collections. (Prince Eugene of Savoy, Crozat, Boyer d'Aiguilles ...).
In 1750, the year he sold his business to Delatour, he gathered his knowledge in this "Traite des Pierre Gravées" and then devoted himself to his research and to his own collections.
In the preface Mariette tells us: "My first project was limited to giving the public the only engraved stones from the King's Cabinet, [...] I formed a new plan: I followed the origin & them step by step. progress of engraving among the Ancients. I examined the use they made of engraved stones for seals & seals, baskets & rings, bracelets, staples & other ornaments .... "

The work is thus divided into four distinct parts:
I - "A History of Fine Stone Engravers".
II- "A manual of fine stone engraving," in which an important part is devoted to the description of precious gems, and other fine stones, which details the different types of Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, Zircons ... used in jewelry (1 copper engraving in the text presenting the different sizes and faceting of the precious stones). Mariette also discusses the methods of falsifying precious gems with colored glass. It is in this manual that we find the folding board depicting a lapidary at his work table.
III- A catalog raisonné of works on the subject that can easily serve as a bibliography
IV- Volume II contains a monumental iconography, constituting the fourth part of the work which is a description of the pieces of the collection of the coin cabinet of King Louis XV: 257 (132 and 125) copper engravings found on the original stones in Louis XV's cabinet and drawn by Edmé Bouchardon spread over 195 leaves (132 leaves with the explanation and 63 leaves grouping 2 engravings per leaf) to which are added, for the 2 volumes: 2 engraved titles, 1 dedication to Louis XV engraved, 4 bands on copper (including 1 large enough after Bourchardon).
The set, according to Cohen, is engraved by the Comte de Caylus

The whole is building a reference work on the subject of precious gems engraved by the antiques and used by moderns in jewelry.

Photo DESCAMPS, Jean-Baptiste. 
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