The Rudiments of Ancient Architecture, in two parts. Containing an Historical Account of the Five Orders, with their Proportions and Examples of each from the Antiques; also Vitruvius on the Temples and Intercolumniations, &c. of the Ancients. Calculated for the Use of those who wish to attain a summary Knowledge of the Science of Architecture. With a Dictionary of Terms. Illustrated with Ten Plates. London, Taylor, 1789.
First Edition. 8vo, (250 x 152 mm), engraved frontispiece (detached) and pp. [iv], vii, [i], 84, engraved portrait by Basire on the title-page, with nine further plates bound after the text, uncut throughout in the original paper-backed marbled boards, spine chipped and largely missing, boards dust-soiled, some spotting in the text but generally good and clean.
A delightful anonymous guide to the orders of classical architecture ‘intended more for the gentleman than the artist’. The work saw considerable success, leading to further editions in 1794, 1804, 1810 and 1821 but the identity of the author remains unknown. The frontispiece shows the five orders drawn to the same height so that their relative proportions can be easily seen. The first part of the work gives a general introduction, the second adds details of Sacred Buildings by Vitruvius and the work concludes with a dictionary of architectural terminology. The nine further plates include one for each order, Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite, a plate each with details of bases and mouldings, and two final plates in which the individual parts of the columns are labelled.
A second edition, ‘much enlarged’, was pubished in 1794, also for I. and J. Taylor at the Architectural Library in Holborn. The engraved portrait on the title-page is of James Stuart, known as ‘Athenian Stuart’.
ESTC t46905, listing BL, Cambridge, Oxford; Columbia, Getty, Johns Hopkins, Bancroft, Delaware and Nebraska-Lincoln.