Assembling, Displaying, Classifying
Collections and Catalogues

The 18th century saw a considerable increase in the publication of illustrated books of antiquities. The market placed special importance on annotated catalogues of collections of antiquities, notably due to the establishment of new museums. Scholarly commentary played an increasingly significant role in such publications.
Alongside scholarly catalogues other publications appeared, which were more like auction catalogues or simple anthologies of plates that showed only the most famous and most beautiful statues, without full explanation. The quality of the reproductions was the decisive criterion in the reputation of such books, and dictated their often very high cost.