Architectural illustrations of Windsor Castle by Michael Gandy and Benjamin Baud, architects. With a concise historical and architectural account of that monarchical edifice, by John Britton, F.S.A.
London, R.A.Sprigg 1842.
Large folio. (6) + 12pp, engraved portrait of Benjamin Baud, 40 litho plates (including tinted perspective views and measured drawings of elevations and details ; the printed list of plates includes additionally as plates XLI and XLII the vignette illustration on the volume’s title leaf and a plan of the castle which appears on p.11 of the text). The volume is in its eight original parts as issued, with the original printed part covers for each part (some minor paper repairs to these). Preserved in contemporary portfolio, with decorative embossed cloth sides, the spine neatly repaired. A few plates spotted, or marked or abraded at their outer margins, but generally the volume is in good, clean condition.
The death of the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville in 1840, before he had been able to publish his intended record of Windsor Castle as he had rebuilt it in the reigns of Kings George IV and William IV, led to the publication in rapid succession of a large illustrated volume on the castle by Henry Ashton (1801-1872), a former pupil, and of the present equally large volume by Gandy and Baud. Ashton had the backing of the Wyatville family, but Gandy and Baud had themselves worked for Wyatville and had in their possession many of the perspective and measured drawings that had been used in the rebuilding programme, while they also managed to recruit John Britton as the author of their volume’s preliminary text.Their volume provides an impressive illustrated record of the castle, and what is particularly interesting about the present copy is that it is in its original parts as issued. The printing history of the part covers seems to have been a little complex, but the front cover of part 7 announces clearly that “Part the Eighth completes this work, which will be published on the First of May, with an Historical Account, bound up complete, for the sum of £5 5s ”. The present cataloguer has not previously seen a copy in parts, and the volume’s very substantial dimensions, virtually demanding that copies should be put in cloth or leather bindings for their own safety, has meant that copies in parts must be excessively rare today.