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.
Portrait, after Holbein the Younger, showing the scholar-printer half-length, to right, black fur-lined dress,...
The original of this celebrated portrait is lost, and it only survives in copies. There is one at Hampton Court, for example. See the account in Oliver Miller, Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian Paintings in the Royal Collection, 1963. There are two copies in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung at Basel (357, 1910).
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...
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...
The Lady’s economical Assistant, or the Art of cutting out, and making, the most useful Articles of wearing...
London: Printed for John Murray; J. Harding; and A. Constable and Co., Edinburgh; at the Union Printing Office, by W. Wilson, 1808.
First edition, very rare and in excellent state, of the first English guide to tailoring to feature full-size patterns, and indeed only third of any sort in the language. The author has recently been identified as Anne Streatfield, of Uckfield – see Arnold, ‘“The Lady's Economical Assistant”...
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...
FALDA, Giovanni Battista.
Li giardini di Roma con le loro piante, alzate e vedute in prospettiva, disegnate ed intagliate da Gio....
Rome, Gio. Giacomo de Rossi, [early eighteenth century?].
A later impression of these magnificent plates of nine Roman gardens by the influential engraver Giovanni Battista Falda (1643–1678). The plates offer perspectives and bird’s-eye-views of the gardens of the Vatican and Quirinal, and of the villas Medici, Farnese, Ludovisi, Montalto Peretti,...
CHAUCER, Geoffrey. FRINK, Elizabeth, illustrator.
Etchings illustrating Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. Introduction...
[London,] Waddington, 1972.
First edition of Frink’s monumental Canterbury Tales, one of 50 copies in the standard edition, numbered B 70 and signed by Frink, from an entire print run of 300 copies.
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...
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...
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.
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...
‘QUINTINYE, Monsr de la,’ [Jean de la QUINTINIE] and John EVELYN (translator).
The compleat Gard’ner;...
London, for Matthew Gillyflower and James Partridge, 1693.
First edition in English, translated and expanded by John Evelyn, of the principal work of the Chief Director of Louis XIV’s gardens, Jean de la Quintinie, first published three years previously as Instructions pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers.
Hydrostatica medica seu Aquae frigidae vires in morbosis affectibus profligandis medica statice ponderatae...
Palermo, Francesco Amato, 1721.
First and only edition, seemingly unrecorded, of this dissertation by the Palermo physician Giovanni Catanese (1690–1753), on the use of cold water in the treatment of various diseases, with extensive contemporary manuscript additions, including the catalogue of the medical library of one of the...
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...
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.
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).
PARKER, Thomas Netherton.
Leaves out of the Book of a Country Gentleman.
Oswestry, W. Price, London, Longman & co., and Shrewsbury, Eddowes & Leake, 1847.
First and only edition of this very rare compilation by Parker of his farm and estate experiments and inventions, one of one hundred copies privately published, and presented by the author to the Earl of Powis.
[DIDEROT, Denis and others].
Select Essays from the Encyclopedy, being the most curious, entertaining, and instructive Parts of...
London: Printed for Samuel Leacroft … 1772.
First and only edition in English of selected articles from L’Esprit de l’Encyclopédie (1768), in effect the first extant portion of Diderot’s famous Encyclopédie to appear in English.
[CHINESE ARTS DEALER.] ISKANDRIAN-HUPEDEN, A.
[Cover title:] ‘My Treasure Box’ [Title-page:] ‘Some selected...
Shanghai, Spring 1938.
A charming and insightful trade catalogue compiled by a female Chinese arts dealer, covering porcelains, cast bronzes and irons, stone and wood sculpture, lacquered figures, furniture and screens, pottery and embroidery. The colours and dimensions are often described in the text, and the final...