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Richardson, George

New designs in architecture, consisting of plans, elevations, and sections for various buildings (title also given in French).

London, for the author 1792 (but published in parts from 1788 onwards).

Reference: 13867

Full Description

Folio. Engraved aquatint title leaf, engraved dedication leaf, printed leaf with list of subscribers, ii + 40pp, 44 engraved aquatint plates. Contemporary marbled boards, with original paper spine. Some internal browning, chiefly at outer blank margins. Slight crease to final plate, the free endpapers more significantly creased. An untrimmed copy. No ownership inscription but from the estate of the late Cyril Kenney FSA FRICS, chartered surveyor and book collector.

A handsome collection of designs for houses, “beginning with buildings of the more simple form and construction, and advancing to the most complicated and adorned edifices”, and therefore including designs for cottages and farmhouses as well as designs for villas, town houses and large country mansions. All are in the fashionable classical style of the period, which Richardson had himself done something to shape while employed as the Adam brothers’ principal draughtsman in the 1760s and early 1770s. Each design is accompanied by text in English and in French giving the dimensions, specifications and estimated cost of erecting the building in question.Although the title leaf carries the date 1792, the volume was issued in parts from March 1788 onwards, by when Richardson was earning his living from his publications and from giving lessons in architectural drawing rather than from actual architectural practice (both his publications and his course of lectures are advertised in his text). The impressive list of subscribers shows that his talents as an architectural draughtsman were nonetheless widely recognised by patrons of architecture and by his fellow architects.The present copy, although affected by some intermittent internal browning, chiefly at its blank outer margins, is in unrestored original condition, with its outer edges untrimmed. Our only previous copy, owned by us in the early 1990s (our catalogue 7, item 94), was a cleaned copy in what was then a recent binding. BAL Cat 2756.