London, South Kensington
23 March 2005
SWAN, Abraham (c.1720-c.1765). The British Architect: or, The Builder's Treasury of Stair-Cases, London: Printed for the Author, 1750. 2° (410 x 245mm). 60 plates, one engraved by Benjamin Cole, others by Edward Rooker after Swan (some spotting, last plate slightly browned, endleaves torn). Modern speckled calf, single gilt filet, spine in 7 compartments with raised bands, leather lettering piece.
Second edition. Published at Swan's own expense, this was 'the most successful as well as the handsomest of his books..., the special attractions of The British Architect were presumably its large-scale details, more "useful for working and drawing" from and its emphasis on interior fittings such as mouldings, wall panels, staircases and chimneypieces...' (Harris p.451). Archer 439.2; Harris 861; RIBA 3219.
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