A TREATISE OF THE FIVE ORDERS OF COLUMNS IN ARCHITECTURE.

(London: printed for J. Senex, and R. Gosling in Fleet-street; W. Taylor in Pater-noster Row; W. and J. Innys in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; and J. Osborn in Lombard-street, [1722]). 360 x 230 mm. (14 1/4 x 9"). [10], xii, xxi, [1], 131, [1] pp.Translated by John James. Second English Edition.

19th century red pebble-grain half morocco over marbled boards, smooth spine with gilt lettering. With fine historiated initials, head- and tailpieces, extra title, dedication, and six architectural plates, all of which are engraved. Front pastedown with bookplate of Monterey Public Library and a location sticker, dedication with small numeric stamp in ink. Millard "British" 56; Fowler 248; Harris 700 (all for first edition). ◆Spine and extremities a little rubbed and scuffed (top of spine with tiny loss, bottom of spine with loss of surface probably because of library label removal), trivial scratches to boards, but the binding entirely sound and surely inoffensive. The occasional insignificant thumb smudge or other minor imperfection to contents, but A FINE COPY INTERNALLY--unusually clean, bright, and crisp throughout, and with very wide margins.

This is an attractive copy of Perrault's influential work on the five types of classical columns--Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite--first issued in French in 1683 and translated into English in 1708. A physician and amateur architect, Charles Perrault (1613-88) was on the three-man committee (along with architect Louis Le Vau and artist Charles Le Brun) appointed by Louis XIV to design the east façade of the Louvre. He also designed the Paris Observatory. Harris notes that the original French edition of this work "had been publicly criticized by Blonel, dismissed by the Academie Royale d'Architecture as unsuitable for students, and was never reissued in France or printed in any other country apart from England." Millard, however, notes its redemption: "Perrault's 'Treatise' provided a solid ground for any thinking on architecture in the ensuing years. Roger North and Christopher Wren knew it already, in the French, but it was taken up by other theorists, in particular after the [present] second edition was issued in 1722." The plates illustrate the differences in the columns, from the very plain Tuscan to the wildly ornate Composite. Translator John James (ca. 1672-1746) was himself an architect who worked under Wren. After apprenticing with the king's master carpenter Matthew Banckes from 1690-97, he worked on Wren's masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, becoming a master carpenter (1711) and assistant surveyor (1716), before succeeding Wren as surveyor to the cathedral after the master's death in 1724. In addition, he served as Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster Abbey, a post responsible for overseeing the upkeep and maintenance of the church. James also designed stately homes and churches, among them St. George, Hanover Square. DNB notes that James supplemented his seasonal work as a builder by translating architectural works from the French or Italian, among them Pozzo's "Rules and Examples of Perspective" (1707). Although a London imprint, the book has the elegant appearance of a French 18th century folio, what with its engraved head- and tailpieces and historiated initials throughout.
(ST17496-033)

Price: $1,250.00