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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

The British Carpenter:

PRICE (Francis).

PRICE (Francis).

The British Carpenter: or, a Treatise on Carpentry. Containing the most concise and authentick Rules of that Art, In a more Useful and Extensive Method, than has been made Publick. The Second Edition enlarged, with an Addition of Sixteen Copper-Plates. [A Supplement to the British Carpenter: Containing Palladio's Orders of Architecture, with the Ornaments of Doors and Windows, Proportion'd and adjusted by Divisions on Scales; together with the accurate Curves of their Mouldings, and their Application to Use.]

Part I with engraved fronsipiece and 44 plates; part II with frontispiece and 16 plates by Toms after Price. Two parts in one. 4to. [257 x 198 x 23 mm]. [2]ff, ii, [iv], 52 pp; [2]ff, 16pp. Bound in contemporary sprinkled calf, the covers with a gilt double fillet border, the spine divided into six panels, the bands flanked with a gilt double fillet, paper manuscript label in second panel, plain endleaves and edges. (Corners and upper headcap a little worn, rubbed).
London: printed by C. Ackers in St. John's-Street; and sold by the Author, in Mount-Street, near Grosvenor-Square; also by A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch at the Red-Lion in Pater-Noster-Row; and T. Astely at the Rose in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1735

Small wormhole towards the head of the Supplement, ink spot on fore-edge, a few spots and minor signs of soiling, but a very good copy. The title-page has the early ink signature of Robert Lancaster and his ink stamp "R*L". There is a blackened impression of a George II coin on the verso of plate S in the first part, and two small ink stamps of the Selbourne Library.

Price introduced his Treatise on Carpentry as a compilation of "the most approv'd methods [given by Alberti, Serlio, Palladio and William Pope] of connecting timber together... digested... in such a manner as to need little or no explanation, otherwise than carefully inspecting the Plates" in order to be "intelligible to Carpenters" and "of use to the ingenious Theorist in Building". Published in May 1733, it was the first comprehensive work on carpentry in English and the standard one for the remainder of the century. The considerably enlarged second edition was published in 1735 under the new title The British Carpenter. It was given 16 new plates of timber construction, as well as a Supplement. The 16 new designs were marked with stars so that "whoever purchased the first Impression may joyn them thereto without Injury". Evidently the new title-page could also be bought separately and put in the place of the old one, which may account for the rarity of the first edition (ESTC records only four copies, at the British Library, Oxford, National Trust and Colonial Williamsburg. This second edition is also relatively rare, with seven copies in UK and 17 in USA and no copies currently being offered for sale). Just as the Treatise had the approval of Hawksmoor, James and Gibbs, so the Supplement had the protection of Palladio's bust on the frontispiece and his name emblazoned as a catchword on the title-page. Price's work was not superseded until the publication in 1820 of Thomas Tredgold's Elements of Carpentry. - Eileen Harris, British Architectural Books and Writers 1556-1785, 708.

Stock no. ebc4780

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Price: £1500

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