I quattro libri dell’architettura … ne’ quali, dopo un breve trattato de’ cinque ordini … si tratta delle case private, delle vie, de i ponti, delle piazze, de i xisti, & de’ tempii.
Venezia, Bartolomeo Carampello 1601.
Folio. 67 + (1) + 78 + (2 blank) + 46 +(2) + 133 + (1) + (2 blank)pp, including woodcut title leaves to each book and many woodcut text ills. Contemporary vellum, worn at outer corners, recased with recent endpapers. First title leaf soiled and browned (and strengthened at outer margin and with other minor old repairs), an old stain at outer right hand margin of Book IV, pp 109-133, and a few other leaves a little browned at outer margins, but a largely clean and internally unrestored copy. Title leaf carries at top an erased ink ownership inscription of George Sandford, 1776, and a slightly later ink ownership inscription of Thomas Cundy, with an old ink note in the blank outer margin of Book I, p.34, presumably in Cundy’s hand. Two early erased ownership inscriptions on the final blank leaf at the end of Book IV.
Third edition of Palladio’s celebrated treatise on architecture, its text a close resetting of that of the second edition, 1581, and the woodcut illustrations printed from the original woodblocks used for both the first edition, 1570, and the edition of 1581. An interesting feature is that the woodcut illustrations as printed have occasional missing areas, reflecting the fact that by 1601 the blocks had been affected by woodworm, but it does not seem that this worried either the volume’s publisher or his potential customers, and the respect in which Palladio’s original illustrations were held is demonstrable by the fact that the original woodblocks in their worm-eaten state, by then almost sacred relics, were again to be used for editions printed in Venice in 1616 and in 1642, and in Paris as late as 1650. Although our copy has various minor imperfections, these are essentially due to the fact that the paper stock on which it was printed was not of suitable quality for an illustrated book of this character (unlike the better paper used for the printing of the 1581 edition, see previous item). The identity of George Sandford, the volume’s first recorded owner in the British Isles, is uncertain – he may have been George Sandford, 3rd Baron Mount Sandford (I) (1756-1846), a member of the Irish House of Commons in the 1780s and 1790s, or else a contemporary George Sandford (died 1795), who was a cavalry officer in the British army – but the Thomas Cundy to whom the volume subsequently belonged will have been Thomas Cundy senior (1765-1825), an architect with a significant early nineteenth century London-based practice. BAL Cat 2385 (Sir Edward Lovett Pearce’s copy) ; Fowler Cat 214.