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.
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...
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...
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 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....
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...
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.
CARDONNEL, Adam de.
Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland [I–II] …
London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Edwards … also by Edwards’s, in Halifax. 1788.
First edition, the very rare issue with the plates in sepia, printed directly onto thick wove paper.
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....
Designs for Gates and Rails suitable to Parks, Pleasure Grounds, Balconys &c, also some Design for Trellis...
London, Published by J. Taylor, at the Architectural Library …, [c. 1805].
First edition of this charming pattern book of garden designs by Charles Middleton which concentrates on gates, rustic fences and trelliswork. Middleton was a pupil of William Paine, and rather than finding success as a building architect he produced a number of fine architectural pattern books.
Bericht über die Armen-Erziehungs-Anstalt in Hofwyl, im Namen der zu Beaufsichtigung derselben niedergesetzten...
Tubingen, Cotta, 1815.
First edition of an account of the agricultural school for poor children founded by Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg on the estate of Hofwyl in Switzerland in 1799. This is a detailed account of the workings of the school, and its ethos, which was designed to be self supporting and taught children the...
An attempt to discriminate the styles of English architecture from the Conquest to the Reformation with notices...
Second, much enlarged edition, of Rickman’s celebrated investigation into Gothic architecture which was originally published in 1817. ‘This, the first systematic treatise on Gothic architecture in England, soon became well known, and Rickman’s nomenclature was followed by all subsequent writers...
[HOLLINGSWORTH, Nathaniel John.]
Fleurs. A poem, in four books.
Newcastle, printed for the author by Edw. Walker …, 1821.
First and only edition of this long blank verse description of Floors Castle, the seat of the Duke of Roxburgh near Kelso in south-east Scotland. The castle was built by the leading Scottish architect of his day, William Adam, father of Robert Adam, for the 1st Duke of Roxburgh between 1721-1726. Hollingsworth’s...
Architectural Antiquities from the Sussex Coast.
[Sussex], July 21st – 10th August 1837.
An interesting and charming antiquarian manuscript illustrating medieval fonts, gothic windows, brasses, architectural details, and funerary sculptures found in churches along the Sussex coast. The anonymous author/draughtsman gives provenances and historical detail to the drawings, which capture the...
The rural and domestic life of Germany: with characteristic sketches of its cities and scenery, collected in a...
London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1842
A fine copy of the first edition of Howitt’s account of his travels in Germany and Austria, and one of the best books in English about German life at the time. Howitt had moved with his family to Heidelberg in 1840 and stayed in Germany for more than two years on account of the education of his older...
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.
Hotel de Belle Vue à Deutz vis-à-vis de Cologne tenu pour J.A. Kimmel. [
Cologne, c. 1850
A ambitious lithograph advertisement for the Hotel de Belle Vue in Deutz, facing Cologne over the Rhine. The finely engraved view of the hotel shows it with its surrounding park lying on the Rhine which is bustling with barges, there is a bridge crossing the river full of promenading people. The litho...
The dwellings of the labouring classes, their arrangement and construction, illustrated by a reference to the model...
London, Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, 1850.
First edition of one of the most important publications on philanthropic housing by the architect and housing reformer Henry Roberts (1803-1876).