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Jones, Inigo ; Charleton, (Walter) ; Webb, John

The most notable antiquity of Great Britain, vulgarly called Stone-Heng, on Salisbury Plain, restored, by Inigo Jones, Esq; Architect General to the King. To which are added The Chorea Gigantum, or, Stone-Heng restored to the Danes, by Doctor Charleton ; and Mr.Webb’s Vindication of Stone-Heng restored, in answer to Dr.Charleton’s reflections (etc).
London, printed for D.Browne junior (and J.Woodman and D.Lyon) 1725.
Reference: 14466

Full Description

Folio. 3 parts in 1. (Jones) : Engraved portrait frontispiece, (8) + (4) + 72pp, 11 engraved plates (mostly folding), 3 engraved text ills ; (Charleton) : Engraved portrait frontispiece, (10) + 48pp, 2 engraved plates (of which one misbound) ; (Webb) : (6) + 228 + (14)pp, 10 engraved text ills. Contemporary mottled calf, neatly rebacked using original spine. A good, clean copy.
A collected printing of the three earliest treatises on Stonehenge, of which the original editions had appeared respectively in 1655, 1663 and 1665. That by Inigo Jones, in which Jones had argued that Stonehenge was a temple built by the Romans using the Tuscan order of architecture, is on any view a remarkable display of Jones’s intellect and command of architectural geometry. It also evidences the fact that Jones had personally visited and measured the site, and had caused “the foundations of the stones to be searched”. Charleton’s treatise, criticising Jones but offering an even less plausible explanation for the surviving structure, is by comparison of no great consequence (although it incorporates introductory poems by Robert Howard, and, more remarkably, by John Dryden), but that by Webb, Jones’s surviving disciple and long-term architectural employee, is important both for the incidental information that it provides on Jones’s career and architectural achievement, and for Webb’s extensive, if tortuous, discussion of the “orders and rules of architecture observed by the ancient Romans”. Webb also records that he had himself been present at the last search of the site made by Jones (pp.123-4). The present collected edition made these texts available to a new generation of readers, and remains especially useful for its inclusion of Webb’s Vindication, the most difficult of the three works to find in its original seventeenth-century printing (most of the printing is supposed to have been destroyed in the Great Fire of London). BAL Cat 1628 ; Harris/Savage 384, 914.

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