Art & Architecture encompasses a broad sweep of material, from early works concerning architecture and architectural history, and books and manuscripts on the fine arts and aesthetics, antiquities and archaeology, to pattern and design books, and private press books and fine bindings. The department also handles original artwork, artistic archives, posters, and propaganda material.
KUTHEN ZE SPRINSBERKA, Martin.
Catalogus ducum regumque Bohoemorum in quo summatim gesta singulorum singulis distichis continentur....
[Prague, s.n.,] 1540.
First edition of a fine and rare portrait book of the Bohemian (Czech) rulers by the Czech historian Martin Kuthen ze Sprinsberka (c. 1510–1564), with brief contributions by Friedrich Nausea, Johannes Rosinus, Matouš Collinus, and Šimon Villaticus.
Urbis Romae topographia.
Rome, Valerio & Luigi Dorico, September 1544.
First illustrated edition (third overall), showing the archaeology and antiquities of Rome as known in the sixteenth century. First published in octavo by Antonio Blado in 1534 and reprinted at Lyons by Sébastien Gryphe later the same year, Marliani’s topography of Rome remained the foremost...
Poliphili hypnerotomachia, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse ostendit, atque obiter plurima scitu sane...
Venice, [heirs of Aldus], 1545.
Second edition, scarcer than the first (also an Aldine, published in 1499), of the most beautiful illustrated book printed in Italy in the fifteenth century. Known for its fine woodcut illustrations, mysterious meanings, and the cryptic inclusion of Colonna’s name, the Hypnerotomachia has...
Le imagini con la spositione de i dei de gli antichi.
Venice, per Francesco Marcolini, 1556.
First edition of Cartari’s influential and successful treatise on the mythology of the ancients. Cartari concentrated on the iconography of the gods, explaining their guises and detailing their several attributes. His book was expressively written to aid artists, painters and sculptors, to understand...
VITRUVIUS, and Daniel BARBARO.
De architectura libri decem, cum commentariis … multis aedificiorum, horologiorum, et machinarum...
Venice, Francesco Franceschi & Johann Criegher, 1567.
First Latin edition of Barbaro’s influential commentary, written in collaboration with and finely illustrated by Palladio; ‘the culmination of the Renaissance tradition of Vitruvian studies’ (Cellauri, p. 57 trans.) which ‘served as a foundational text into the next century, as...
Le vite de’ piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, et architettori … nuovo ampliate … co’ ritratti loro et...
Florence, Giunta, 1568.
First illustrated edition, second overall, of ‘the first critical history of artistic style’ (Grove). Though first published in 1550, it was the 1568 edition which served as ‘the basis for all subsequent editions and translations’ (ibid.), having been thoroughly revised and expanded...
Pompe funebri di tutte le nationi del mondo, raccolte dale storie sagre et profane.
Verona, Francesco Rossi, 1639.
First edition of Perucci’s extensively illustrated account of funeral practices, inscribed by a Scottish antiquary and documented book collector. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and later the Royal Society, Walter Bowman (1699–1782) travelled extensively over the course of five decades...
WREE, Olivier de.
Sigilla comitum Flandriae et inscriptiones diplomatum ab iis editorum, cum exposition historica.
Bruges, Jan-Baptiste van den Kerchove, 1639.
First edition of de Wree’s authoritative catalogue of Flemish seals, an attractive copy in contemporary vellum gilt. Exquisitely engraved by Samuel and Adriaen Lommelin and François Schelhaver the elder and younger, the illustrations offer an accurate and elegant record of the seals of the...
Plafons a la moderne.
Paris, P. Mariette, [c. 1658].
A very rare series of plates illustrating fresco designs for trompe-l’oeil ceilings in the Roman style. The series is a fine example of the work of Nicolas-Pierre Loir (1624–1679), both in his engraving and his interior design (according to some scholars, the plates may have been engraved...
Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement ...
Paris, Jean-Baptiste Coignard, 1682.
First edition of this spectacular folio production, based on the most accurate measurements of Roman architecture of the time. Sent to Rome by Colbert in 1674, Desgodets spent sixteen months measuring the most important buildings with greater accuracy than ever before. The resulting drawings of...
La Bible, qui est toute la Sainte Escriture du Vieil et du Nouveau Testament. Autrement, l’ancienne et la nouvelle alliance....
London, R. Everingham for R. Bentley and J. Hindmarsh, 1687.
First complete edition of the Bible in French to be printed in England, in a fine Restoration binding. This Bible, in the French Geneva version, was published less than two years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (22 October 1685) which saw about fifty thousand French Protestant refugees...
LA ROQUE, Jean de.
Voyage de Syrie et du Mont-Liban. Contenant la description de tout le pays compris sous le nom de Liban et d’Anti-Liban,...
Amsterdam, Herman Uytwerf, 1723.
Second edition (first Paris 1722) of La Roque’s account of his first journey to the Arab world, undertaken in 1689 when he visited Syria and Lebanon. The son of a Marseille coffee merchant, La Roque (1661–1745) was a journalist, traveller, and one of the founders of the Académie de Marseille....
LA SERRE, Jean-Puget de.
Grab-Statt der weltlichen Ergötzlichkeiten, einstens in Französischer Sprache zubereitet … anjetzt...
Regensburg, Johann Conrad Peetz und Bader, 1738.
First edition in German of Tombeau des délices du monde, by the French dramatist and historian Jean-Puget de la Serre (1594–1665).
A Letter to Dr Mead concerning some Antiquities in Berkshire, particularly shewing that the White Horse, which gives...
Oxford, Printed for Thomas Wood … 1738
First editions. A Letter to Dr Mead was the first serious archaeological study of the Uffington White Horse. Francis Wise, Keeper of the Archives at Oxford University and later a friend of Samuel Johnson, contends that the horse, which he eulogises as a work of art, had Saxon origins, because...
CAPPONI, Alessandro Gregorio, Marchese.
Catalogo della Libreria Capponi o sia de’ Libri Italiani del su Marchese Alessandro...
Rome, Bernabò & Lazzarini, 1747
First and only edition of the catalogue of this remarkable library assembled by Capponi (1683–1746) and containing over five thousand titles, mainly of early Italian literature. The catalogue was compiled by Alessandro Berti with bio-bibliographical notes by Domenico Giorgi. The collection now...
Risposta alle reflessioni critiche sopra le differenti scuole di Pitture del Sig. Marchese d'Argens.
Lucca, per il Busdrago, 1755
Not in Cicognara or Schlosser-Magnino.
Les Delices de Windsore; or a Description of Windsor Castle, and the Country adjacent, treating, I. Of the Castle....
Eton: Printed by Joseph, and Thomas Pote, 1755.
First edition of a much-reprinted pocket companion to Windsor ‘for the use of Strangers, and other Persons, who visit this our Royal Castle’. It is ‘for the most part an Extract from a larger Work publish’d in Quarto a few Years since’ (Pote’s own work The History and Antiquities of Windsor...
BELLONI, Girolami, Marchese.
Del Commercio dissertazione.
Rome, Niccolo and Marco Pagliarini, 1757.
Second edition to be authorized by Belloni, (first, 1750) – the first edition to include the author’s considerations on ‘imaginary money’ (pp. 135-154) – of a work notable for its argument in favour of restrictions on the export of money by the Vatican banker Girolamo Belloni (1688–1760)....
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...
Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are...
PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista.
Veduta delle due Chiese, l’una detta della Madonna di Loreto l’altra del Nome di Maria presso...
[Rome, c. 1762].
A marvellous view of Rome by Piranesi, from an original edition printed in Rome, bearing the price (‘a paoli due e mezzo’), with wide margins and the ‘double encircled fleur-de-lys’ watermark.