Nürnberg: Bieling, 1775. First edition. Hardcover. Folio. 52pp (text), XIII, XII, V, VI, VI leaves of plates. Contemporary gilt-stamped, rebacked calf retaining the original boards with the striking coat of arms of Christian Friedrich Karl Alexander*, Margrave of Brandenburg, Ansbach, Kulmbach & Bayreuth in gold on both covers. Raised bands. Decorative endpapers. Marbled paper edges. Title page in Latin and German. Decorative head-, and tailpieces. Scarce first edition, followed a year later by Christiaan Sepp's polyglot edition (Amsterdam, 1776). An engraver, limner and art dealer, Wirsing, took considerable care over the production of this work to depict the variety of marbles arranged by geographical regions. The striking engravings depict 267 cross-sections of marbles on 42 plates, all elaborately hand-colored, thus rendering a perfect similitude of marble. Of the 267 images, 78 depict cross sections of Bayreuthische Marmor, 72 of Wurtembergische Marmor, 45 of Neresheimische Marmor, 36 of Durlachische Marmor, and 36 of Salzburger Marmor. Each plate measures 12 1/4" x 9" and contains either 6 or 9 images each measuring 2" x 2 1/2" or 2 1/4" x 1 1/2". Some rubbing along edges of binding. Gilt partly faded on spine. Minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Text in Latin and German. Binding in overall good, interior in good+ condition. g. Item #35514
* Christian Friedrich Karl Alexander (1736-1806) was the last Margrave of the two Franconian principalities Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Bayreuth, which he sold to the King of Prussia, a fellow member of the House of Hohenzollern, in 1791. His parents were Charles William Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Friederike Luise of Prussia, the daughter of King Frederick William I of Prussia and sister of Frederick II of Prussia.