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.
DONI, Antonio Francesco.
Disegno … partito in piu ragionamenti, ne quali si tratta della scoltura e pittura; de colori, de getti,...
Venice, appresso Gabriel Giolito di Ferrarii, 1549.
First edition of an important art theoretical text by the polyglot scholar Anton Francesco Doni wo discusses the Renaissance concept of disegno in contomporary sculpture and painting. The book is divided into two parts, the first consists of six essays discussing disegno, the second prints a handul of...
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...
Le dessein de l’histoire de Reims, avec diverses curieuses remarques touchant l’establissement des peuples,...
Reims, chez Nicholas Constant, 1635
First edition of the earliest printed history of Reims, published posthomously after the author’s death by his son, Jean Bergier. The antiquary Nicolas Bergier (1567-1623) is best known by his great work on the Roman roads in Europe, Histoire des grands chemins de l’empire Romain, published in 1622....
Peribologia seu muniendorum locor[um] ratio.
Frankfurt, Anton Humm for the author, 1641.
First Latin edition of this monumental work on architecture and fortifications, a book produced by father and son. The imprint makes clear that the son, Johann Wilhelm, not only was responsible for the magnificent plates but also edited and published the work ‘edita sumptus et typos suppeditante Joanne...
PIEDRABUENA, Antolínez de (pseud.). Carnestolendas de Zaragoza, en sus tres días.
Zaragoza, Agustín Verges for Jusepe Alfay, 1661.
First and only edition, very rare, of this satirical picaresque novel, published under a pseudonym and attributed to a Dominican friar, Benito Ruiz. Among other things, the novel contains the description of the three-day Carnival festival held in Zaragoza in March 1660. The author sketches the feast...
BARTHOLIN, Albert (1620-1663),
Copenhagen, Matthias Godicchen for Peter Haubold, 1666.
First edition of the first Danish national bibliography, edited posthumously by the author’s famous brother, Thomas Bartholin. The book is a remarkable record of Danish literature from its early days to the middle of the 17th century. The Bartholins list over 500 authors and more than 1000 different titles.
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 50,000 French Protestant refugees move to England...
[PERELLE, Gabriel together with his sons Nicolas and Adam PERELLE]. A collection of plates showing Versailles, its...
Poilly (and once only Langlois), [c. 1680].
An interesting collection of the fine views of Versailles with which Louis XIV dazzled the rest of Europe. The landscape views of Perelle teeming with figures show the splendour of the new Versailles. The impressive scale and complex layout of the gardens is shown in a variety of views. Some of these...
Devotos obsequiosos cultos y leales, festivas aclamaciones, con que celebro la excelentissima cividad de Barcelona,...
[Barcelona, Rafael Figuero, c. 1702].
First and only edition of this scarce volume celebrating the visit of King Philip V of Spain and his young bride Maria Luisa of Savoy to Barcelona in October/November. The volume describes Philip V entry into Barcelona on 2nd October 1701, and the entry of the royal couple into Barcelona in November...
Historia typographorum aliquot Parisiensium vitas et libros complectens.
London, William Bowyer for Christopher Bateman, 1717.
First edition of the earliest historical and bibliographical monograph on 16th century Parisian typography. It was elegantly printed by William Bowyer for Bateman in an edition of 250 copies on ordinary paper and 24 copies on Royal paper (see Maslen and Lancaster, Bowyer ledgers, 407). It was dedicated...
Descrizione e spiegazione della misteriosa figura. In occasione del santo solenne sepolcro rappresentata nella Chiesa...
Bologna, per li Rossi, e Comp. alla Rosa, (1719).
Scarce ephemeral guide to the decorations, paintings and statuary put on for the Easter pageant on 6 April 1719 (Maundy Thursday) in the Santa Catarina church in Bologna. The pamphlet is interestingly detailed in describing the art works displayed, their iconographical meaning, their textual sources,...
STURM, Leonhard Christoph.
Der auserlessneste und nach den Regeln der antiquen Bau-Kunst sowohl, als nach dem heutigen Gusto verneuerten...
Augsburg, in Verlegung Jeremiae Wolffens … daselbst gedruckt bey Peter Detleffen
First collected edition of this grand and important series of architectural treatises by Leonhard Christoph Sturm (1669-1719), presented as commentaries on the work of Nikolaus Goldmann, which was immensely influential in 18th century Germany.
A new critical review of the publick buildings, statues and ornaments, in and about London and Westminster. With...
London, printed by C. Ackers … for J. Clarke …, 1736.
Second edition of the earliest piece of architectural criticism in English, and the first book which gives a favourable account of English Palladian architecture as typified by Lord Burlington inspired recent buildings. This is an influential book, despite the hostility it encountered on publication....
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...
Marmor Estonianum seu Dissertatio de sella marmorea votiva Estoniae, in Agro Northamptoniensi conservata.
London, Typis J. Bettenham, 1744.
First edition of Nixon’s essay on the well preserved fragment of an ancient marble seat, with a Greek inscription, unearthed in a Northamptonshire field by a farmer ploughing.
CAPPONI, Alessandro Gregorio, Marchese.
Catalogo della Libreria Capponi o sia de’ Libri Italiani del su Marchese Alessandro Gregorio...
Rome, Bernabò & Lazzarini, 1747
First and only edition of the catalogue of this remarkable library assembled by Capponi (1683-1746) and containing over 5000 titles, mainly of early Italian literature. The catalogue was compiled by Alessandro Berti with bio-bibliographical notes by Domenico Giorgi. The collection now forms part of the...
An Essay on Design: including Proposals for erecting a public Academy to be supported by voluntary Subscription...
London, Printed: and sold by John Brindley ... S. Harding ... & M. Payne ... 1749.
First edition of the first public appeal for a national academy of arts. John Gwynn’s Essay called attention to the inadequacy of art training in England. ‘Whatever thoughts about an academy were in the air at the time were set in motion by the Essay’ (Harris). It was Gwynn’s first salvo in a...
A Catalogue of new and useful Maps, curious & entertaining Prints, Books of Architecture, great Variety of Drawing...
[London, Sayer, 1766 or earlier].
An attractive piece of ephemera, advertising Robert Sayer’s publishing and print-selling business. It shows at the top left corner a double-page spread from one of Robert Morris’ books on architecture, possibly Select Architecture or Architecture Improved, both published by Sayer in...
Catalogue raisonné de toutes les pieces qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt … avec le augmentations nécessaires...
Paris, chez Hochereau, 1751.
YVER, Pierre. Supplement au catalogue raisonné de M.M. Gersaint, Helle & Glomy de toutes les pieces qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt. Amsterdam, chez Pierre Yver, Marchand de Tableaux & d’Estampes, 1756.
La vie des peintres flamands, allemands et hollandois, avec des portraits gravés en taille-douce, une...
Paris, chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, [and] Desaint & Saillant, Pissot, Durand, 1753-1763
First edition of the painter Descamps’ biographies of Flemish, German and Dutch masters. In all there are eighty biographies from the Renaissance to 1706. In his preface Descamps outlines the limitations of his predecessors, his purpose, and his printed sources. The Lives include a list of the principal...