Pain, William & James

Pain’s British Palladio : or, the builder’s general assistant. Demonstrating, in the most easy and practical method, all the principal rules of architecture, from the ground plan to the ornamental finish .. the whole correctly engraved on forty-two copper plates, from the original designs of William and James Pain.

London, “printed by H.D.Steel, in Lothbury, for the authors, at No.3, Little Red Lion Court, Charterhouse Lane, near West Smithfield” 1786.

Reference: 14524
Price: £620 [convert currency]

Full Description

Large folio. (2) + 14pp, 42 engraved plates. Quarter morocco, marbled boards (a binding of the 1970s ?). An old light stain at upper margin of plates, in a few cases extending into engraved surface, and some other old marks and stains elsewhere, but a good enough copy generally. George Atkinson’s copy.

First edition of this folio-size pattern book for houses, chimneypieces and architectural ornament, and the only edition of this title to be published for the Pains themselves (later editions were to be published by the I. & J.Taylor firm, specialists in architectural books). William Pain, trained as a joiner, had issued a string of pattern books and instruction books for members of the building trades since the early 1760s, but the present book is a collaborative venture between him and his son James, a builder and surveyor. The designs are all broadly in the fashionable “Adam” style of the period and are aimed at wealthier middle-class clients. A useful feature of the accompanying text is that it provides extensive contemporary costings for builders’ materials and for labour (pp 8-14). BAL Cat 2368; Millard, British Books 49.

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