London, South Kensington
23 March 2005
WRIGHTE, William (fl. 1767). Grotesque Architecture, or Rural Amusement, London: Henry Webley, 1767. 8° (230 x 143mm). Etched frontispiece by Isaac Taylor after A. Thornthwaite and 28 etched plates [?by Taylor]. 2-page publisher's advertisment bound in after text (variable light browning, very light marginal dampstaining occasional touching text). Contemporary reversed calf, tooled in blind, gilt morocco lettering-piece (lightly scuffed, skillfully re-cornered and repaired on lower part of spine, upper hinge partially split). Provenance: J. Holte (contemporary inscription on front free endpaper).
FIRST EDITION. of Wrighte's 'very successful collection of fantastic designs for garden structures' (RIBA). The frontispiece to Wrighte's work, which depicts his designs in an imaginary rural scene, 'was designed to aid the viewer--especially the prospective client--in imagining Wrighte's building designs in a landscape setting. Indeed Wrighte was the first to publish such a scene in a book of architectural designs--showing specific designs set into natural surroundings in a consciously artful way' (Archer). Harris notes that, 'In addition to their success in England, Wrighte's designs were disseminated on the Continent via Le Rouge's Jardin Anglo Chinoise'. Archer 358.1; Harris 952; RIBA 3722.
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