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Aberdeen, George, Earl of

An enquiry into the principles of beauty in Grecian architecture: with an historical view of the rise and progress of the art in Greece.

London, John Murray 1822.

Reference: 13182
Price: £685 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. (4) + 217 + (1)pp. Contemporary full calf, gilt spine. Ink ownership inscription and collation statement (”coll.perf. H.Drury Harrow”) of Rev.Henry Drury on front free endpaper. The present copy has passed successively through the hands of Ben Weinreb (with his pencil cost code : the book was Weinreb Cat 25, item 1), Paul Breman (with his pencil cost code for 1968 and his book label inside the volume’s back cover) and Paul Grinke.

First separate printing, on fine paper, of the essay on Greek architecture which George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860), a future British Prime Minister, had supplied, without his name being mentioned, as an introduction to William Wilkins’ Civil Architecture of Vitruvius, published 1812-14. Lord Aberdeen had visited Greece when on his Grand Tour in 1803-4, and had returned with a well-informed scholarly interest in Greek classical architecture which made him sympathetic to architects working in that style such as William Wilkins and Robert Smirke. In his short printed “advertisement” to the present 1822 printing he indicates that he was complying with requests to make his remarks available “in a more portable and commodious form” and also that he had made various additions and corrections to his original text.The number of copies printed and distributed of the 1822 printing was small, and copies of it have always been scarce in the book trade (our only previous copy, item 1 in our catalogue 4, 1989, is now in the library of the Getty Research Institute). The present copy, fittingly, belonged to the Rev.Henry Drury (1778-1841), an assistant master at Harrow School (where Lord Aberdeen had been educated), and a keen bibliophile. BAL Cat 1251.