Catalogue 74: Architecture and the Fine Arts

As is customary with our catalogues, we offer here a selection of interesting and sought-after publications on architecture and the fine arts, ranging from important seventeenth century editions of treatises by Serlio (item 109) and Scamozzi (item101), to a set of the Frank Lloyd Wright issues of the periodical Wendingen (item 128), and to the late Gavin Stamp’s copies of a number of monographs on European architects of the interwar period in the multilingual Masters of Architecture series (items 39, 45, 56, 59, 78, 93, 119).

Other individual highlights include a Czech edition of M.H.Baillie Scott’s Houses and Gardens (item 5); Jean-François Blondel’s large folio Fragmens d’Architecture, 1755 (item 14); the De Thou copy, in its original armorial binding, of Abraham Bosse’s La Pratique du Trait a Preuves de M.Desargues Lyonnois, 1643 (item 15); Richard Elsam’s The Gentleman and Builder’s Assistant, 1808, a very rare title indeed which appears to be the only architectural book published in Northern Ireland before 1840 (item 36); Charles Kelsall’s Phantasm of an University, 1814 (item 53); the historian J.B.Bury’s copy of Lethaby and Swainson’s The Church of Sancta Sophia, Constantinople, 1894 (item 60); and a clean, fresh copy of Marco Nonnenmacher’s Der Architectonischer Tischler, 1751, preserved until recently in a Danish military library where it seems to have been neither handled nor read (item 82).

A recent purchase by our firm at a book auction of a lot containing a photograph album and other items relating to the mid-nineteenth restoration of Lichfield Cathedral also produced, somewhat surprisingly, a group of family letters written from 1820 onwards to the Dean of Lichfield, Hon. Henry Howard, and his wife. The majority of these, including an interesting letter giving an eyewitness account of George IV’s coronation banquet, were written by his niece Harriet Howard, subsequently Duchess of Sutherland and Mistress of the Robes to Queen Victoria, but they also included a letter from George Agar-Ellis, politician and art collector, and the husband of another of the Dean’s nieces, reporting on a visit that he made in 1822 to Strawberry Hill, Horace Walpole’s celebrated Gothick mansion on the banks of the river Thames at Twickenham, and this we offer here (item 130).