Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

Diocletian’s Palace – Lavallée and Cassas in Split, 1802

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My love for Dalmatian antiques dates a loong time back! I will be presenting some of my collection on this blog occasionally. My collection of archeological finds and antiques originates from walks, dives and eBay. I only collect things related to Dalmatian history: books, graphics, maps…

Over 200 years ago, two French artists were commissioned a book on the Eastern Adriatic – Istria and Dalmatia. The book is one of my dream books but at 15000 USD it will stay a dream a bit more :))

Here is the brief description:
Cassas L.F. Lavallée Voyage Pittoresque et Historique de L´Istrie et de la Dalmatie Paris Didot L´Ainé 1802
Large folio,53x 34 cms.title page, frontispiece, text( 190 pgs) and 66 engraved views(some of them folding) showing landscape views, Monuments and ruins taken during the trip in 1782 of Cassas( 1756-1827) artist and traveller.The trip was commanded by a “beaux arts Society” and from Italy where he arrived in 1778 travelled to Dalmatie and later to the Othoman Empire with the earl of Choiseul Gouffier.Fine original half leather binding,spine gilt.

The most fascinating part of the book are the etchings of the Diocletian’s Palace.

Dicletians Palace
Dicletian's Palace

These etchings are still some of the most amazing representations of the Palace! Centuries after they have been published, their beauty still captivates…

The palace
The palace
The Palace
The Palace
The Palace
The Palace

These two cross sections of the Palace are simply mesmerizing! I was looking for them for quite a while but only last month, I was able to win them on an online auction. I also won some wonderful representations of Pula as well.

It simply amazes me how someone can rip such an amazing book apart to sell only illustrations? I know that part of the blame is on the people who buy this art work but this was fairly inexpensive and the book is already destroyed… Judging by the top prices these images went for, this was a pathetic attempt to make money if that was his intention when he purchased the book.

On the other hand, I finally got my hands on this amazing artwork!

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