Entretiens sur l’architecture.
Paris, A.Morel (text vols) 1863-72 (plate vol) 1864.
2 vols 8vo text, 1 vol oblong folio plates. (4) + 491 + (1)pp, (14) woodcut plates, 93 text ills ; (4) + 450pp, 1 woodcut plate, 92 text ills ; printed title leaf, (38) engraved plates (numbered 1-36, 22 bis, one other extra plate 22). Text vols bound in later nineteenth century quarter brown morocco, marbled boards, and the plate vol. in publisher’s printed board portfolio, cloth spine, as issued (covers of portfolio age-soiled). Some occasional light spotting in outer margins of the first of the text vols, but a good set generally. No ownership inscription but from the library of the architect Jean Paul Carlhian (see above).
First edition of Viollet-le-Duc’s most controversial and challenging publication. It comprises twenty lectures and lecture-length articles delivered and written by him between 1856 and 1872, which offer his opinions on all the main architectural issues of the period. The first volume proceeds through the history of architecture and concludes with a discussion of the proper style of architecture for Viollet’s own time, while the second volume deals with construction, architectural education, decoration, sculpture, domestic architecture and the state of the architectural profession. The best-known feature of the book is its frank acceptance of the role of iron in architectural construction (there are striking illustrations of this), but there is much else that is worth reading. The present set derives from the library of Jean Paul Carlhian (1920-2012), a French-born and Ecole des Beaux Arts-trained architect, who joined the architectural firm of Shepley Bulfinch in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, after the 1939-45 war, and was responsible for the design of major new buildings at Harvard University in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as significant additions to the Smithsonian Museums complex in Washington, DC. It is worth noting that although copies of the plate volume occur with some regularity in the book trade, copies of the text volumes are decidedly more difficult to locate, and this set is the first of all three volumes that we have had in stock since 1997.