9 June 2004
CHAMBERS, Sir William (1726-96). Designs of Chinese Buildings, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and Utensils. London: for the Author, Messrs. Dodsley, and others, 1757.
2o (528 x 365 mm). Text in English, subscribers' list. 21 engraved plates by P. Fourdrinier (14), C. Grignon (3), P. Sandby (1) and 3 unsigned. Contemporary calf-backed marbled board (covers detached).
FIRST EDITION. Chambers's discussion of "the art of laying out gardens among the Chinese" made an immediate impact on English landscape gardening. It was reprinted in the Gentleman's Magazine in May 1757, and "Edmund Burke considered it 'much the best that has been written on the subject'" (Harris, p.156). Taken as an authoritative account, it influenced the lay-out of numerous European gardens in the Chinese manner. Berlin Kat. 2784 (French text); Harris 113; Fowler 85 (French text); Colas 592 (parallel French and English title and text); Lipperheide Le12 (French and English text); Millard 12.
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