Lethaby, W.R.

Old St.Paul’s. (Set of ten articles, numbered I-X, from the periodical The Builder).

(London), 4 April 1930 – 26 December 1930.

Reference: 15283
Price: £150 [convert currency]

Full Description

Folio. 10 articles from The Builder, each comprising 2 or 3 closely printed folio-size pages, with text ills. The third page in each 3-page article is mounted on a sheet of blank paper of similar dimensions. The articles are prefaced by a blank leaf on which is mounted a manuscript title, “The Old Cathedral of London”, written in ink in a shaky hand (Lethaby’s ?), together with Lethaby’s name and address, again written in ink. The volume, which is bound in quarter calf, marbled boards (a binding of the 1950s ?), also includes, pasted to a blank preliminary leaf, two autograph letters, signed, from Lethaby’s American-born sister-in-law Grace Ashton Crosby, 27 August 1933 and 3 September 1933, in which she offers the set of articles to St.Paul’s Cathedral for its library.

A complete set of a series of articles written for the periodical The Builder by the architect and architectural historian W.R.Lethaby on Old St.Paul’s, the cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Lethaby endeavours to reconstruct from early published sources and from other evidence the architectural appearance of the cathedral and the character of its pre-Fire monuments and furnishings. This is Lethaby’s own set of these articles, and two inserted autograph letters from Lethaby’s sister-in-law indicate that she offered the present volume to St.Paul’s Cathedral Library after Lethaby’s death, but it appears that for whatever reason it was never incorporated into the library (as Joseph Wisdom, the current St.Paul’s Cathedral Librarian, has kindly confirmed to us). It seems doubtful to us that any other sets of the articles concerned survive bound together in this convenient form.