List 96: Architecture, Art and Art Collecting including titles relating to the Society of Dilettanti

The present list, drawn from across our stock, offers titles ranging from first editions of Philibert de L’Orme, Le Premier Tome de l’Architecture, 1567 (item 25) and of Vincenzo Scamozzi, Dell’Idea della Architettura Universale, 1615 (item 43), to a selection of publications connected with Le Corbusier (items 21-24, 26-29).

A particular feature is a group of publications and printed items, some of them particularly scarce, connected with the Society of Dilettanti, the self-perpetuating body founded as a dining club in 1734 for aristocrats who had visited Italy or Greece on their Grand Tour. It was the Society of Dilettanti which over the following century and a half was to play the predominant role in encouraging and financing scholarly investigation by architects and archaeologists of the principal surviving remains of Greek temples of the classical period, and resulting publications paid for by the Society were to bring about the widespread adoption of the Greek Revival style by British architects from the later eighteenth century onwards.

We also offer a copy of Thomas Wright’s very rare Universal Architecture, Book I, Six Original Designs of Arbours, 1755 (item 64), one of the great rarities of English eighteenth-century garden architecture literature and notable for its engraved plates illustrating Wright’s extremely elegant designs for picturesque garden structures.