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Over, Charles

Ornamental architecture in the Gothic, Chinese and modern taste, being above fifty intire new designs of plans, sections, elevations, &. (many of which may be executed with roots of trees) for gardens, parks, forests, woods, canals &.
London, printed for Robert Sayer 1758.
Price: 2950 GBP
Reference: 13846

Full Description

8vo. (8)pp, 54 engraved plates. Contemporary full calf, gilt spine, a little bumped at outer corners. Occasional very slight internal browning, but a good copy in unrestored condition. The Bute copy, with early nineteenth century armorial bookplate.
First edition of this rare pattern book of rather charming designs for garden temples and related structures in Gothic, Chinese and classical styles. The book’s title leaf attributes the designs to “Charles Over, architect”, of whom nothing is otherwise known, and who may therefore have had no real existence, but it is to be noted that an individual named Charles Over, of the parish of St.Margaret’s, Westminster, married at St.George’s Chapel, Mayfair, on 25 August 1750, Mary Hickford, of the parish of St.Anne’s, Soho, and he may perhaps have been the person involved. The garden buildings illustrated are of the same general character as those in slightly earlier architectural pattern books by William Halfpenny, but a number of the designs are given a more deliberately picturesque appearance by the use as structural elements of rocks and tree roots, and plate 8 is a pioneering design for “an umbrello’d seat”. The present copy was offered as lot 1192 in Sotheby’s sale of 18 October 1961 of the library of the Marquess of Bute, at which it was purchased for £32, a good price for that date, by Marlborough Rare Books. The bookplate that it contains is either that of the 1st Marquess (1744-1814) or that of his son and successor the 2nd Marquess (1793-1848), but the library seems in essence to have been assembled by the 1st Marquess’s father, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713-1792), the principal favourite at court in the early years of the reign of George III and briefly Prime Minister in 1762-3, who was particularly interested in books on architecture and natural history, and it is likely that many of the books that carry early nineteenth century Bute bookplates had originally been acquired by him. BAL Cat 2346 ; Harris/Savage 606.

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