Box Of Unbound Prints, Collection of original designs of vases, figures, medallions, friezes, etc., ca. 1794
To buy Pergolesi’s ornament prints, a client needed to visit his home and shop on Broad Street near London’s Golden Square. The area was popular with the city’s Italian artists, like Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727–1785) and Francesco Bartolozzi (1727–1815). The prints were issued in sets of five or six, available only by subscription. They came wrapped in purple paper, numbered by Pergolesi on the front—the rare copies seen here are in their original state, appearing just as they were when sold in 1794.
Pergolesi published his first ornament prints in 1777 and continued to add to the series until his death in 1801. This sheet from 1794 is a print proof (draft of a print) in which he solicits new subscribers. The project did not create sufficient profit to cover the artist’s expenses. In an addendum to the advertisement, Pergolesi notes that he “continues to teach Ladies and Gentlemen every branch of ancient and modern Ornaments, Designs, Paintings, &c. &c. on very reasonable terms, in a manner which. . . has gained him the patronage of many of the Nobility and Gentry of England.”
It is credited
Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Christian H. Aall, 1984.
Its dimensions are
Each of the individual twelve fascicles: H x W x D: 0.6 × 40.6 × 57.2 cm (1/4 in. × 16 in. × 22 1/2 in.)