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List 91: Architectural Books from the Sixteenth Century onwards

This is the first list that our firm has issued since the onset of the COVID epidemic in the early spring of 2020, and we have thought it appropriate to demonstrate that even in these demanding times it is still possible to offer a good range of early editions of some of the most celebrated architectural treatises of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, together with a selection of other rare, interesting or simply useful titles of more recent date.

It is sufficient to highlight here that our list includes the first quarto edition of Leonbattista Alberti, L’Architettura, 1565 (item 1); the first edition, first issue, of Philibert de L’Orme’s Premier Tome de l’Architecture, 1567 (item 50); the second and third editions of Andrea Palladio, Quattro Libri dell’Architettura, 1581 and 1601 (items 67 and 68); the first edition of Sebastiano Serlio, Architecturae Liber Septimus, 1575 (item 81 : our copy is from the library of Etienne Tabourot, “Seigneur des Accords”); the first edition of Vincenzo Scamozzi, Dell’Idea dell’Architettura Universale, 1615 (item 76), as well as a later edition of the same title, 1714 (item 77); and a mid-eighteenth century edition of Juan Arphe y Villafane’s Varia Commensuracion para la Escultura y Arquitectura, one of the few publications of Spain’s great age to illustrate the orders of architecture, and virtually unfindable today in its original sixteenth century printings (item 3).

We also draw our readers’ attention to what is probably one of only two known complete copies of Thomas Bowles, A Compleat Book of Ornaments, c.1728 (item 13); Dom Michel F libien’s very substantial and scholarly Histoire de l’Abbaye Royale de Saint-Denys en France, 1706 (item 31); a rare fête book published to

commemorate the funeral in 1750 of the German-born Dowager Duchess of Parma and Piacenza (item 36); some guide books to country houses and art collections, including a privately printed listing of the contents of Hendersyde Park, near Kelso, Scotland, 1859 (item 43) and the second edition of Horace Walpole’s Aedes Walpolianae, 1752 (item 47); an excellent book by Hans Spiegel on steel frame construction as applied to house design in the mid 1920s (item 85); Gavin Stamp’s own copy of his The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, 2006 (item 87, with various enclosures); and a rare publication featuring designs by Finnish architects active at the beginning of the twentieth century, published in parts between 1904 and 1908 (item 98).