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.
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).
[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).
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...
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’...
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...
Manuscripts relating to Low Countries nobility.
[Low Countries, mid-17th century?].
A fine set of manuscripts relating to Low Countries heraldry and history compiled by a learned local antiquary.
ALLOM, Thomas and George Newenham WRIGHT.
China in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture, and social habits,...
London, Peter Jackson, late Fisher, Son, & Co., [1848-56?].
Later edition of this handsome work on China, first published by Fisher, Son, & Co. in London and Paris in 1843, illustrated with 124 steel-engraved plates and vignettes to each of the four engraved titles.
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...
FARINGTON, Susan Maria (illustrator).
The 104th Psalm. Illustrated by Susan Maria Ffarington. Worden.
Lithographed by Vincent Brooks Day & Son, London W.C. [c. 1867].
The Faringtons or Ffaringtons were an ancient family of Worden Hall, Leyland, Lancashire, with a substantial family archive. Susan Maria (1808–1894) edited The Farington Papers for the Chetham Society in 1856, and made other contributions to local history, but this unusual panorama seems to...
[REYNOLDS, Joshua, Sir].
A Discourse, delivered at the Opening of the Royal Academy, January 2, 1769 [also: October 16,...
London: Printed in the Year 1769.
First editions of seven discourses addressed by Reynolds to the newly founded Royal Academy, of which he was the first President.
DODGSON, Campbell (editor).
Woodcuts of the XV Century in the Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum.
London, British Museum, 1934 [– 1935].
First edition, scarce, of Dodgson’s authoritative and thoroughly illustrated catalogue of fifteenth-century woodcuts in the British Museum. Published after two decades as Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, the monumental Woodcuts of the XV Century is considerably scarcer...
REZZONICO, Carlo Castone della Torre di.
Discorsi accademici del conte … segretario perpetuo della R. Accademia delle Belle Arti.
Parma, [Bodoni], 1772.
First and only edition of an exquisite little product of the Bodoni house: Count Rezzonico’s reflections on the fine arts, including a dissertation on the techniques of woodcut and engraving. The Neo-Classical aesthetics that inform this work are reflected in the illustrations, masterfully executed...
Vita di Benvenuto Cellini orefice e scultore fiorentino da lui medesimo scritta, nella quale molte curiose...
‘Cologne’ [i.e. Florence], ‘Pietro Martello’ [i.e. Bartolini], .
The counterfeit edition of Benvenuto Cellini’s seminal autobiography, extra-illustrated with two large engravings illustrating his ‘Perseus and Medusa’ and the ‘Hercules and Cacus’ of his rival sculptor Bandinelli.
The Demon of Progress in the Arts.
London, Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1954.
First edition, inscribed ‘To Geoffrey / my best copy / Wyndham’. Lewis breaks here with abstraction in the arts, naming Michael Ayrton, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Ceri Richards and others as ‘the finest group of painters and sculptors which England has ever known’. Ayrton collaborated...