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Title page of John Edward Lee "Roman Imperial Photographs being a selection of forty enlarged Photographs of Roman Coins" (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1874)
The Origin of this little publication may be told in few words. A series of about one hundred and fifty profiles of Roman Emperors, Empresses, and Caesars is now in progress, drawn in lithograph from medallions and coins, but considerably enlarged. It will probably be published shortly after the appearance of this volume. During the progress of the work, Photographs were taken of some of the coins, with a view of lessening the labour of drawing for lithography : this, however, was not found to answer, and the plan was abandoned.
But, as the Photographs were very characteristic, the figures or profiles being enlarged three or four times, and as this style of illustration always carries with it the impress of truth, it was thought advisable (although the imperfections in the coins must necessarily be magnified in the same proportion) to bring together in this volume a selection of forty photographs from coins of different periods, not only to show the actual likenesses, which are of considerable interest, but also to indicate the state of Art at the time the coins were minted. Short memoranda, chiefly taken from Mionnet, have been added respecting each of the individuals. A note has also been made as to the metal from which the coins were struck, and the actual inscription around the profile has also been given.
As this mode of illustration must necessarily be expensive, and probably there will be but few purchasers, the number of copies printed has been limited to one hundred.