AQUATINTS OF COTTAGES
Designs for Cottages, Cottage Farms, and other Rural Buildings.London, for John Harding, 1805.
FIRST EDITION. Royal 4to. pp. . [i]-x, 28, [2, bookseller’s advertisement] + 43 leaves of plates. 43 aquatints of façades and plans, designed by John Gandy and engraved by John Harding or S. Alken. Edges untrimmed and a little dusty, occasionally a trifle frayed, fore-edge of pls 13-14 strengthened. A very good, clean copy in publisher’s paper boards, lithographed title within typographical border to upper board, paper label to spine, scattered water stains to boards, modern dry-stamped ex-libris to ffep. Rebacked, original spine and label remounted, corners restored.
A very good copy, entirely untrimmed, of the first edition of this attractive work on country cottages, illustrated with 43 charming aquatints. Many depict strikingly modern, even avant-garde buildings. John Gandy ARA (1771-1843) was employed by Sir John Soane to produce watercolours and drawings of his projects; as an architect, he had a short and unsuccessful practice, ending up in debtors’ prison. However, his illustrated printed works and exhibitions were most popular. ‘Building projects had been curtailed by the Napoleonic wars. But publishing these designs for small structures and cottages Gandy argues that cost efficiency can be accompanied by good design, so that residents may acquire an “early habit of contemplating fine forms’ and ‘natural good taste”. […] Like James Malton and William Atkinson Gandy valued variety of form. Here he combines simple geometric forms in an irregular manner – decorated only by pilasters and relieving arches (in the style of his teacher Sir John Soane). His circular buildings and groups echo compositions recently published by C.-N. Ledoux’ (cf. Royal Academy, 03/1745). Each of the 43 plates, illustrating cottages and related architecture such as labourers’ dwellings or structures to house poultry, is described in detail, including specific room measurements; buildings are portrayed within their natural surroundings. This copy includes a 2pp. bookseller’s catalogue on books on agriculture and rural affairs.BAL 1171; Archer 84.1. Not in Fowler.