Friday, April 06, 2007

What's in a Floor?

We have a beautiful book in our March catalog- H.F. Rodlich's "Praktische Anweisung zur Verfertigung der Venezianischen Estriche" is an 1810 guide to the art of making Venetian crushed-stone floors. It illustrates the tools and the step-by-step processes involved-

Venetian crushed stone floors are a rather difficult subject -very little material about them is available in the literature. Certainly the neo-classic elements are unmistakable, and the influence of recently excavated Roman ruins must have played a part in their popularity in Italy and, as this book illustrates, Germany.

The plates show the stone being prepared and colored, the floor surface being planned, laid-out and prepared, and the stone being applied and smoothed. The workmen are all stylishly dressed for such a dirty job, and appear very happy at their tasks. Young boys help with the work in a number of plates. Obviously a labor and time-intensive task, the laying of a stone floor is chronicled here in hand-colored plates that can only be described as jewel-like.

A scarce book, with only a single OCLC listing. Hardcover. 8.5"x10.5", 28 pages of text plus 24 hand-colored engraved plates on 12 leaves. We have a more extensive description in our March catalog.

No comments: