An abridgment of the architecture of Vitruvius. Containing a system of the whole works of that author. illustrated with divers copper plates, curiously engraved ; with a table of explanation, to which is added in this edition the etymology and derivation of the terms used in architecture. First done in French by Monsr Perrault, of the Academy of Paris, and now Englished, with additions.

London, “printed for Abel Swall and T.Child, at the Unicorn in St Paul’s Churchyard” 1692.

Reference: 09541
Price: £2,400 [convert currency]

Full Description

Small 8vo. Engraved frontispiece, (12) + 158 + (2) + 12pp, 11 engraved plates (plates 1-8 with printed text on verso, plates 10 and 11 printed on each side of folding leaf with accompanying text). Contemporary full panelled calf, gilt spine (carrying marks of lettering from its original label, now absent), the spine chipped at top and rubbed at joints. A good, fresh copy internally. From the library of the Earls of Macclesfield, with nineteenth century Macclesfield armorial bookplate, and small embossed armorial blind-stamp towards top of frontispiece and first two leaves of text, as customary with books from this library.

First edition of this translation into English of Claude Perrault’s widely esteemed abridgement of Vitruvius, first published in Paris in 1674. It is significant in the literature of English architecture as being the very first English-language printing of any portion of Vitruvius’s text. Although a simplified version was subsequently to appear in 1702 as part of a combined volume also containing a printing of Joseph Moxon’s edition of Vignola, the edition of 1692 is the more faithful to Perrault’s original, and no fuller English-language version of Vitruvius was to become available until the publication of William Newton’s translation towards the end of the eighteenth century (vol I, 1771, vol II 1791). BAL Cat 3537 ; Fowler 421 ; Harris/Savage 891.