Designs and examples of cottages, villas, and country houses, being the studies of several eminent architects and builders, consisting of plans, elevations, and perspective views, with approximate estimates of the cost of each. LXVII engravings. Collected, edited and published by John Weale.
London, John Weale 1857.
4to. 8pp, 67 plates (of which plates 1-31, engraved, are reissues of the plates of Edmund Aikin’s Designs for Villas and other Rural Buildings, 1808 ; plates 32-55, engraved, are reissues of the plates of C.A. Busby’s Series of Designs for Villas and Country Houses, 1808 ; and plates 56-67, woodcuts, are previously unpublished). Publisher’s cloth, faded on upper cover. Some light spotting on the woodcut plates at the end of the volume, and a small crease at top outer corners of plates, but a good copy generally.
A scarce and curious compilation, put together by the architectural bookseller and publisher John Weale as a means of putting to commercial use the surviving copper plates of two architectural pattern books originally published by the Taylor firm as far back as 1808. The first thirty-one plates are those of the architect Edmund Aikin’s Designs for Villas and other Rural Buildings, a volume of designs for villas with Greek Revival features, dedicated by Aikin to Thomas Hope and visually reminiscent of similar pattern books by Joseph Gandy published in 1805-6, while the next twenty-four plates are those of the architect C.A. Busby’s Series of Designs for Villas and Country Houses, in which the designs are more elegant and conventionally classical. As Aikin had died as early as 1820, and Busby’s career had expired in controversy and bankruptcy, Weale no doubt felt himself able to reissue their designs without any mention of their names in his preliminary text (although Busby’s name remains as that of the draughtsman of some of plates 32-55). Designs of this character were however old-fashioned by 1857, and to increase contemporary demand for the volume Weale appends at its end some recent designs for houses in Dovercourt New Town, Harwich, Essex ; Clifton Terrace, Brighton; and, in London, houses in St.John’s Wood, Kilburn, Kentish Town, Westbourne Park and Regent’s Park. These were designs in Italianate or Gothic styles, intended as models for speculative builders, and the only architect credited is Thomas Tatlock, an architect in Dalston, North London. Although Weale’s motives were purely commercial, the volume is of some utility today, for copies of the original printings of the pattern books by Aikin and Busby are now rare and substantially more expensive in the book trade, while the volume remains the only place where the added designs for houses in Dovercourt New Town and so on are published.