Sketches in architecture; consisting of original designs for cottages and rural dwellings, suitable to persons of moderate fortune, and for convenient retirement; with plans and appropriate scenery to each (bound with) Designs for lodges and entrances to parks, paddocks, and pleasure-grounds, in the Gothic, cottage, and fancy stiles, with characteristic scenery and descriptive letter-press.
London, “published by J.Taylor, at the Architectural Library, No.59, High Holborn” 1807, 1811.
Large 4to. 2 works in 1. vii + (1) + 15 + (1)pp, 20 sepia aquatint plates ; (6) + 19 + (1)pp, 20 engraved plates (19 of which are printed in sepia aquatint, remaining plate being a ground plan). Contemporary quarter calf, marbled boards, worn at outer corners, rebacked using remains of original spine. A small ink mark in outer blank margin of plate 18 of second title, otherwise in good, clean condition throughout. George Atkinson’s copy.
Two handsome volumes of architectural designs intended to display the talents of the author, Thomas Downes Wilmot Dearn (1777-1853), an architect in practice in Cranbrook, Kent. The first, a sequel to a volume of designs by Dearn published under a similar title in 1806, offers designs for modest but rather charming small villas and cottages for occupation by “persons of moderate fortune”, while the book of 1811 provides designs for gate lodges and cottages on landowners’ country estates, for occupation by their employees or other tenants. All the designs in both volumes are shown in attractive perspective views of their front elevations, set in appropriate rural scenery and printed in sepia. The book of 1811 carries a dedication to Sir Walter James James, Bart., for whom Dearn had designed his only certainly executed commission, a gate lodge at Angley, close to Cranbrook, illustrated on one of the plates (plate no.IX). A statement by Dearn in his preface to that book that “several of these designs have been built under my direction” might suggest that more executed buildings by him remain to be identified, but this is speculative. More certain is that Dearn’s claim on the title leaf of the 1807 volume that he was “Architect to the Duke of Clarence” (the future William IV) had at least some basis in fact, for Dearn had been a pupil of William Thomas, an able Welsh-born architect working in the Adam style (see item ), who was described on his death in 1800 as holding that same position. Dearn must in any case have owed his obvious skills as a draughtsman to the tuition that he had received in Thomas’s office. BAL Cat 825 (Sketches in Architecture), 824 (1823 edition of Designs for Lodges : the British Architectural Library does not hold the 1811 edition, but Major Abbey possessed a copy of it, Abbey, Life, 12).