Friday, November 14, 2008

Selectiorvm nvmismatvm, praecipve Romanorvm, expositiones, elegantibus nummorum ectypis, and indicibus necessariis instructae

Costanzo Landi's Selectiorum numismatum, praecipve Romanorum, expositiones, elegantibus nummorum ectypis, & indicibus necessariis instructae (1695) has unusual plates of Roman coins.

The coins are usually illustrated as if they are architectural features of crumbling monuments.

Landi's odd presentation style makes the coins seem gigantic. It's not clear to me if Landi's monuments are fantasies or if he chose actual crumbling monuments. Notice that he has perfected the coins by illustrating them as perfectly preserved and perfectly round and deliberately placed them in front of broken masonry.

(A different set of scans can be obtained from The University of M√ľnster).

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