Gothic furniture ; consisting of twenty-seven coloured engravings, from designs by A.Pugin. With descriptive letter-press.
London, M.A.Nattali nd (mid 1840s).
4to. iv + 26 + (2)pp, 27 hand-coloured engraved plates. Publisher’s cloth, neatly repaired for very minor damage to spine. Title leaf a little spotted, and an old mark in blank outer margin of plate facing p.14, but generally a good, clean copy internally.
A very attractive series of hand-coloured engravings of designs for furniture in the Gothic style, originally published as individual plates in Ackermann’s Repository of Arts between 1825 and 1827. They were initially issued by Ackermann in book form with the present accompanying text at some date after October 1827, most probably in 1828. Although some of the designs can be related to existing pieces of furniture at Windsor Castle known to have been designed by A.W.N.Pugin, Pugin was only fifteen years old in 1827, and it was his father, Augustus Charles Pugin (1769-1832), who appears to have been the “A.Pugin” of the volume’s title leaf, taking the responsibility, and the credit, for the designs as a whole. The sheet stock of both plates and text passed after Ackermann’s death to the London bookseller and publisher M.A.Nattali, who reissued them with a new title leaf in the mid 1840s. The text and plates are thus the originals produced for the Ackermann edition of c.1828, and the plates have lost nothing of their initial quality and freshness.Copies of Gothic Furniture are now decidedly rare outside older libraries, whether in the Ackermann edition of c.1828 or in the Nattali reissue. It should be noted that the British Architectural Library’s copy (BAL Cat 2654), although treated by the compilers of their catalogue as an example of the Ackermann edition, is a set of plates only without the text, while Major J.R.Abbey’s copy, although likewise dated c.1828 in the Abbey catalogue (Abbey, Life 51), was a predominantly uncoloured copy in wrappers, and may well in fact have been an example of a somewhat later reissue.