CAMPBELL, Colen (1676-1729). Vitruvius Britannicus; or The British Architect, containing the plans, elevations, and sections of the regular buildings, both publick and private, in Great Britain. Volumes IV-V a continuation by John Woolfe (d. 1793) and James Gandon (1743-1823). London: -1725-1771.
5 volumes, 2° (518 x 337mm). 4 engraved titles in English and French, 3 engraved dedications and 386 plates, numbered according to volume and bound as follows: I. engraved title, dedication and 84 plates, 14 double-page; II. engraved title and 74 plates, 13 double-page and 4 folding; III. 74 plates, 24 double-page; IV. engraved title, dedication and 79 plates, 19 double-page; V. engraved title, dedication and 75 plates, 23 double-page. Letterpress title in red and black in English and French in volume III. (Occasional thumb-soiling, list of subscribers in vol. III with marginal stain.) Elegantly bound in early 19th-century red morocco gilt, olive morocco spine labels giving title in one compartment and volume number in another, other compartments filled with repeated floral tools, marbled endpapers, floral turn-ins, gilt edges.
FINE COPY OF THIS CELEBRATED WORK, the first pattern book of English architecture, focussing attention on the architectural merit rather than the topographical situation of the nation's great buildings. It began as a venture by a publishing group of booksellers who adopted Campbell, a skilled architectural draughtsman, as their author only shortly before publication of volume I in 1715. In this set, volumes I-II are later editions, volumes III-V first editions. The names of the booksellers John Nicholson, Andrew Bell, W. Taylor, Henry Clements, and Jos. Smith, and the original dates of publication (1715-1717), have been erased from the engraved titles of volumes I-II. Joseph Smith is the sole name to appear in the imprint of volume III. Most plates in volume I are unsigned, though a few are signed by Campbell as delineator. The plates in volumes II-III are largely by Henry Hulsbergh after Campbell, while those in volumes IV-V, published in 1767-1771, are after Gandon, Woolfe and William Chambers. Fowler 76; Harris 99, 101 & 945; Millard, British, 10 & 94. (5)