Catalogue 73: Seventy Three Books

The books that we offer in the present catalogue include an unusual number that are of more than ordinary significance and value. A good proportion of these derive from a collection of books on architecture and related subjects puttogether in the years after the 1939-45 war by George Anthony Atkinson OBEARIBA (1915-2015), a long-term employee of the UK Government’s Building Research Establishment at Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire, retiring as the BRE’sChief Architect in 1977 and still remembered for his notable contributions tothe design of buildings suitable for tropical climates. Most of the books are likely to have been acquired by him between the 1940s and the 1960s and have thus not been available within the book trade for over half a century.

Pride of place among Mr.Atkinson’s books belongs to his copy of the 1611 English-language edition of Serlio (item 56), but we are also able to offer his first editions of Philibert de l’Orme, Le Premier Tome de l’Architecture, 1567 (item 30), and of Vincenzo Scamozzi, Dell’Idea della Architettura Universale, 1615 (item 54), as well as a range of other significant titles from his library, including good copies of an early state of the so-called Petit Marot (item 34) and of the first two volumes of the Society of Dilettanti’s Ionian Antiquities (item 57). Mr Atkinson also owned both a really pleasing copy of the first edition of Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi’s 1761 guide to the buildings of Vicenza (item 10), and a set of the small quarto edition of Bertotti Scamozzi’s later publication on the buildings of Andrea Palladio bound uniformly with Bertotti Scamozzi’s edition in the same format of Palladio’s Le Terme dei Romani (item 11).

Major books from other sources listed in this catalogue range in date from Martino Bassi’s intriguing Dispareri in Materia d’Architettura et Perspettiva, 1572 (item 6), via a 1601 edition of Palladio’s Quattro Libri dell’Architettura (item 41) and the plate volumes and one text volume (of two published) of the almost unfindable Bauausführungen des Preussischen Staats (item 29), to three very celebrated titles of twentieth century date (items 47, 48, 69). The cataloguealso includes books from the libraries of the Adam family of architects (item 37)and of the great scholar Isaac Vossius (item 60); some rare pamphlets (items 1, 5, 20, 22, 73); and some scarce or unfamiliar guide books to English country houses and picture collections (items 7, 15, 18, 21, 26).