Paris. 1760-1762. Two volumes. 62; 61 leaves, each with a mounted plate. Images vary in size, either 11 x 16 inches or 8 x 12 inches. Oblong folio. 19th-century cloth, gilt; rebacked in red morocco. Corners repaired. Wear and soiling to boards. Internally clean, colors bright and fresh. Very good. Item #WRCAM46155
Two large albums containing 123 brightly colored vues d'optique depicting scenes from Paris, Rome, London, and many other locations in Europe. Lettering is typically printed at the top and bottom of the plate, primarily in French, with the letters at the top reading backwards. The letters above the text were deliberately reversed, since these prints were designed for viewing in optical machines with a magnifying glass and a reflective mirror, which gave the viewer an illusion of depth and reversed the image. The views are mostly of France, including many scenes from Versailles and the ports of the realm. There are likewise a significant number of views of important landmarks around Rome. Other views depict notable locations in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Poland, and London. A handful of the plates show more unusual locales such as Mexico City, Siberia, St. Petersburg, Peking, Cayenne, and French Guiana. Altogether, an impressive collection of these handsome engravings.