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 25 monuments,...
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...
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.
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...
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.
[PORCELAIN] NYMPHENBURG. Abbildung der vorzüglicheren Artikel der königlichen bayerischen Porcellan Manufactur zu Nymphenburg....
A fine copy of the very rare trade catalogue of the porcelain wares available at the Royal Bavarian porcelain manufacture Nymphenburg, offered here with the original ‘price list’. This is the first trade catalogue produced at Nymphenburg and possible the earliest trade catalogues for porcelain in...
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...
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...
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...
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).
Travels in Greece: or an Account of a Tour made at the Expense of the Society of Dilettanti.
Oxford: ‘Printed at The Clarendon Press ... Sold by J. Dodsley, J. Robson, T. Cadell, P. Elmsley, and G. Robinson, London; and by D. Prince,...
First edition. The classical scholar, traveller, and author Chandler (bap. 1737, d. 1810) was educated at Winchester College and Queen’s College, Oxford, and awarded a demyship at Magdalen College in 1757. Following the publication of an annotated collection of fragments by Tyrtaeus, Simonides, Theognis,...
[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...
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...
Auserlesene Verzierungen aus dem Gesammtgebiet der bildenen Kunst, zum Gebrauch für Künstler und kunstbeflissene...
Berlin, bei G. Reimer, 1844.
First edition of this rare and fine pattern book of classical ornaments in marble, silver, bronze, ivory, and terracotta reproduced in outline engravings in order to instruct artists, craftsmen and fine art students. Zahn produced the volume from sketches made on his travels in southern Italy. Some of...
Le malheur et la pitié, poëme en quatre chants.
London, A. Dulau & Co. and Prosper & Co., 1803.
First London edition. First published in Paris the previous year under the title La pitié; also published in octavo format in both London and Paris in 1803. According to Brunet, the London editions contain several passages relating to the French Revolution and to the king which appeared in only...