- Tag = The Arts
Anecdotes of Eminent Painters in Spain,
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; with cursory remarks upon the present state of arts in that kingdom. By Richard Cumberland. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II].
London, J. Walter, 1782.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (156 x 95 mm), pp. [iv], 225, ,  index; [iv], 224,  index, , in contemporary tree calf, spines ruled in compartments and numbered in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt.
A handsome copy of this guide to Spanish art written by the dramatist and diplomat, Richard Cumberland. Public awareness of the art and artists of… (more)
A handsome copy of this guide to Spanish art written by the dramatist and diplomat, Richard Cumberland. Public awareness of the art and artists of Spain was growing as travellers made comparisons with the work of the Italian masters. Collectors and dealers were beginning to look towards Spain as a new source of supply and Cumberland’s detailed work was a great success. It was based in part on Cumberland’s observations made in Spain and in part on Antonio Palomino’s Vidas de los pintores y estatuarios eminentes españoles, which was translated into English in 1739.
In 1780, Cumberland was sent on a confidential mission to Spain in order to negotiate a peace treaty during the American War of Independence that would weaken the anti-British coalition. Although he was well received by Charles III of Spain and his government, the sovereignty of Gibraltar proved insurmountable and Cumberland was forced to return to England empty handed. The government then refused to repay his expenses, even though he was out of pocket to the tune of £4500, a blow to his finances that he never really recovered from. One of the few positive results of his time in Spain was the research that he did for this book.
‘I had already published in two volumes my Anecdotes of eminent Painters in Spain. I am flattered to believe’, Cumberland wrote, ‘it was an interesting and curious work to readers of a certain sort, for there had been no such regular history of the Spanish School in our language, and when I added to it the authentic catalogue of the paintings in the royal palace at Madrid, I gave the world what it had not seen before as that catalogue was the first that had been made and was by permission of the King of Spain undertaken at my request and transmitted to me after my return to England’ (Memoirs of Richard Cumberland, 1806, pp. 298-299).
ESTC t116936.More details Price: £650.00
or, Nutshells: being Ichnographic Distributions for Small Villas; chiefly upon oeconomical principles. In seven classes. With occasional remarks. By Jose Mac Packe, a Bricklayer’s Labourer. Part the first, containing Twelve Designs.
London, for the Author, 1785.
First Edition. 8vo, (212 x 121mm), two engraved frontispieces and pp. [iv], 89, with numerous tables in the text and twenty-five engraved plates, each facing its description, the text proper being in the appendix, beginning at p. 51, plate xviii misnumbered xvii, in contemporary calf, red morocco label on spine lettered in gilt, spine ruled in gilt, foot of spine chipped, joints cracking and in need of some attention, but generally an attractive copy, with the early ownership inscription of James McDouall of Lagan.
A charming book written as a guide to the ordinary person wishing to build a house in the country. Peacock had worked as principal assistant… (more)
A charming book written as a guide to the ordinary person wishing to build a house in the country. Peacock had worked as principal assistant to the architect George Dance and as Clerk of Works to the City of London Corporation and therefore had considerable experience, belying the anagrammatic pseudonym ‘Jose Mac Packe’, a ‘bricklayer’s assistant’, as given on the title page. He fears that some might suspect this and reassures them as to his station in life, expressing the hope that ‘the sourest critic will upon the whole allow, that he has acquitted himself as well as might be expected for a Bricklayer’s Labourer’ (Preface). The twenty-five plates give plans of examples with comments and detailed measurements, showing Peacock’s skill with relatively small sites. The appendix (which, written under the guise of bricklayer, includes some advice on how to deal with your architect) is a humorous guide for the layman on how to build his own house: ‘let him procure a design upon paper, of a new House... whether it be from some Fan-painter, Toy-man, Lace-man, Paper-hanger, or Undertaker... if it happens to be the production of a wonderful genius, not of the profession, it will not be unwise in him to consult some clumsy mechanic, or other, who can readily distinguish a brick from a pantile’ (pp. 53-54).
Eileen Harris, British Architectural Books and Writers 1556–1785, 694; Berlin Katalog 2295.
ESTC t42147.More details Price: £650.00
Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera.
Vol. I [-II].
London, John Pine, 1733.
First Edition, second state of vol. II p. 108 with the inscription on the medal of Augustus Caesar in the corrected state of ‘potest’. Two volumes, 8vo, (221 x 130 mm), pp. [xxxii], 176, , -264, , first end final pages blank; [xxiv], 48, , -94, , -152, , -172, , -191,  blank,  explanation of the plates, printed entirely from engraved plates, some light foxing and offsetting, in contemporary crimson morocco, triple gilt filet borders to covers, gilt spines with raised bands and contrasting brown morocco labels, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, some slight wear to the bindings with a little bit of surface abrasion and staining.
One of the most famous engraved books of the eighteenth century: ‘the most elegant of English eighteenth-century books in which text and illustrations alike are… (more)
One of the most famous engraved books of the eighteenth century: ‘the most elegant of English eighteenth-century books in which text and illustrations alike are entirely engraved’ (Ray p. 3). Pine’s work was inspired by French book design and in turn it had a profound effect on English typography. Its magnificent plates, illustration and typography have made it a staple of book collecting ever since. The work was intended only as a deluxe edition and it was not issued in workaday bindings. Here it is in a simple but beautiful red morocco binding. On any other book, this might suggest a particularly special copy but for Pine’s Horace, it was probably a trade binding, for over the counter sales.
The text was first set in type and a proof transferred to the copper plates to be engraved letter by letter, the headpieces, decorated initials, tailpieces and full page illustrations then engraved on the same plates. ‘The brilliancy of this engraved roman text struck a new note, and thus Pine’s Horace may have had a good deal to do with the taste for more “finished” types which waxed as the century waned.’ (Updike II, p. 138.) In this sense, Pine paved the way for Baskerville and Bodoni and, like them, he generously spaced his lines. In his address to the reader, Pine draws attention not only to the brightness (nitore) of his letters but also to the fact that unlike movable type there is no chance of errors being introduced during printing.
A prospectus was issued on 24 February 1731, with a list of subscribers and 67 plates, before the addition of the signature letters (ESTC N39784). The list of subscribers in the first volume, supplemented by that in volume II, brings the total to well over 1000 names, with separate sections for many European countries or capital cities. This must be one of the longest subscription lists in any eighteenth-century book.
See Gordon Norton Ray, The illustrator and the book in England from 1790 to 1914 (1976); Daniel Berkeley Updike, Printing types, their history, forms and use (3rd edition, 1962).
ESTC t46226; Brunet III, 320; Cohen-de Ricci 498.More details Price: £2,400.00
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… (more)
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.
Avery 882.More details Price: £450.00