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.
Poliphili hypnerotomachia, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse ostendit, atque obiter plurima scitu...
Venice, [heirs of Aldus], 1545.
Second edition, scarcer than the first (also an Aldine, published in 1499), of the most beautiful illustrated books 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...
The present State of the Arts in England. By M. Rouquet, member of the Royal Academy of Painting and...
London, for J. Nourse, 1755.
First edition in English, published in the same year as the French original, from the library of the great Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723–1790).
Lichfield Cathedral, south transept portal and steps.
A fine print of one of Fenton's most striking architectural photographs, the details of the stonework given human scale, and a touch of mystery, with the figure posed half-in and half-out of the doorway. It was one of a number of images of Lichfield which 'from a restricted distance, move around the...
[LOO, Pieter van, (attributed).]
156 watercolours of flowers, plants, and fruits.
[Holland, c. 1760–80].
A truly stunning collection of over 150 original eighteenth-century botanical watercolours, attributed to the noted Dutch botanical artist Pieter van Loo (1731–1784).
A single folio leaf (389 x 281 mm.), containing Luke XVII:23–XIX:13 (leaf 230 of volume 2), double column, 42...
[Mainz: Printed by Johann Gutenberg & Johann Fust, c. 1450-1455, not after August 1456.]
A fine single paper leaf from the first substantial book printed with movable type in the western world, now known simply as the Gutenberg Bible or the 42-line Bible.
SCHÜBLER, Johann Jakob.
Amor, vehementer quidem flagrans; artificiose tamen celatus, de Pantalonis custodiaque triumphans, intentato...
Augsburg, Johann Michael Probst, [c. 1770?].
Rare series of twelve engravings inspired by the Italian commedia dell’arte, one of the most beautiful books of the German Rococo, engraved by Johann Balthasar Probst after original illustrations by the architectural painter, sculptor, and mathematician Johann Jakob Schübler.
DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine.
‘An Explanation of Dassier’s Medals being a Representation of a Series of Events...
London, c. 1795-1800.
An exceptionally fine illustrated manuscript, with drawings after the series of sixty medals of Roman history from Romulus to the Age of Augustus produced by Jean Dassier and his son in 1740-1743. The drawings are executed with considerable finesse, adding detailed elements not clearly visible...
Torelli Saraynae Veronensis leg. doct. de origine et amplitudine civitatis Veronae. Eiusdem de viris illustribus...
Verona, Antonio Putelleto, 1540.
First edition of this description of the antiquities of Verona, handsomely illustrated with woodcuts designed by the Veronese painter Giovanni Caroto, including the large folding view of the Roman theatre which is often missing, owned and annotated by Giulio Cesare Ballino, friend and sometime collaborator...
The Nonesuch Dickens. The Complete Works of Charles Dickens.
London, The Nonesuch Press, 1937-38.
Limited edition of 877, of which 66 sets were destroyed when a bomb hit the bindery in September 1940, so at most 811 complete sets survive (Dreyfus, Nonesuch Press, 108). The steel plate included with this set is number 605, “Solemn reference is made to Mr. Bunsby” from Dombey and...
Faits mémorables des empereurs de la Chine, tirés des annales Chinoises, dédiés à Madame,...
Paris, chez l’auteur … et chez M. Ponce, .
Two handsome engraved works by the French engraver and printseller Helman (1743–1806/9), here on uncut sheets, the first depicting scenes from Chinese history, the second episodes in the life of Confucius (Kong Fuzi).
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...
Une Semaine de Bonté ou les sept éléments capitaux. Roman. Premier [–Dernier] Cahier …
Paris, Éditions Jeanne Bucher, 1934.
First edition, no. 706 of 800 copies on papier Navarre from a total edition of 816.
NORMAND, Alfred Nicolas.
L’architecture des nations étrangères. Etude sur les principales constructions du parc à l’Exposition...
Paris, A. Morel, 1870.
First edition. This is a presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title to the author’s friend Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris opera house that bears his name: ‘A son ami Ch. Garnier. Souvenir affectueux A. Normand’. The two men had known each other since they were both ‘pensionnaires’...
Figures & Heads from the Originals of Louthenbourg & Bossi …
First edition, very rare, containing probably the earliest soft-ground etchings produced in England. A head of a monk after Benigno Bossi, dated 25 December 1771, is often referred to as the first dated soft-ground etching by an English artist (it is here in an early state, without lettering...
VIAS, Balthasar de.
In clarissimum virum Nicolaum Claudium Fabricium de Peiresc ... Epicedion.
Marseille, Claude Garcin, 1642.
Uncommon first edition of Balthasar de Vias’s elegant neo-Latin elegy commemorating the life of his friend the scholar, antiquary, and collector Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637) of Aix-en-Provence, the most learned man of his time; our copy contains the extremely rare ‘Encomiasticon’...
Album containing plates from the Grand Oppenord and several rare proof plates.
Paris, chez Huquier, [c. 1740].
An interesting album containing plates from the Grand Oppenord, Huquier’s important publication issuing the ornament designs of Oppenord in print. Oppenord (1672-1742) was an important contributor to the development of the rococo style in Europe, adapting Italian baroque ornament to suit French taste....
Ordinamento Corporativo dello Stato Fascista.
Padua, Edizione di propaganda corporative, 1935.
Italian Fascism primarily followed the economic model of corporatism to organise capital and labour interest groups into trade unions and employer associations such as agriculture, industry, commercial trade, professionals and artists, as well as banks and credit associations. These trade associations...
Bibliothecae historicae libri XV. Hoc est, quotquot Graece extant de quadraginta quorum quinque nunc primum...
Basel, Heinrich Petri, August 1559.
Important edition, the first to be overseen by Sébastien Castellion, of Diodorus’s influential ‘Historical library’. Although Diodorus’s text, published in Greek for the first time by Estienne in the same year, offers a history of the world from its inception until Caesar, it came down...
A street fight in Rome. A fan leaf drawing.
[Italy, late 18th century].
A fine fan leaf drawing, Italian school, late 18th century, copied from a print by Francesco Villamena of c. 1601. It depicts a street fight between Spanish and French factions in Rome with a view of the villa Mattei in the background. The original copper engraving by Villamena was dedicated to the patron...
Vieilles maisons boutiques & paysages de Paris. Eaux fortes originales de Ernest Laborde. Presentées par Gustave...
Paris, Jules Meynial, 1918 .
First edition, very rare: two series of twenty etchings each on the most picturesque houses and shops in Paris, produced between 1911 and 1918 by Ernest Laborde (1870–1935).