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KIRBY, John Joshua (1716--1774)
Dr. Brook Taylor's method of perspective made easy; both in theory and practice: in two books. Being an attempt to make the art of perspective easy and familiar; to aadapt it entirely to the arts of design; and to make it an entertaining study to any gentleman who shall chuse so polite and amusement. By Joshua Kirby, ... Illustrated with many copper-plates, correctly engraved under the author's inspection. The third edition, with several additions and improvements. ...
London: printed for the author: and sold by T. Payne; T. Longman; J. Wilkie; T. Davies; Brotherton and Sewell; and I. Taylor, 1768.
2 vols ; 57 cm. (2º)
I: x, *ix--*x , 69 p., XIV pl.
II: viii, 66 p., XXI pl.

First published in 1754. The third edition was originally issued in 1765 in both quarto and folio formats (ESTC n8987 and t133639 respectively); both formats were then reissued in 1768 with cancel title-leaves. The title of book II reads 'The Practice Of Perspective; Being The Second Book Of Dr. Brook Taylor's Method of Perspective made easy, &c. ...'. Folio copies of this reissue appear to have still been available in the Taylor's Architectural Library catalogue in 1823. See notes to BAL, Early printed books, no. 3591 (describing the 1768 quarto reissue, ESTC t133416). A number of the plates have overslips. ESTC t133418.

Copy Notes Drawn in the margins of books I and II, which are bound together, are pen and wash perspective diagrams copied from the plates. Loosely inserted in book II is a folded sheet of perspective diagrams drawn in ink by the same hand. Book II contains additional pencil notes and diagrams in a different hand, probably Soane's.

Binding Later C18th Italian quarter red sheep(?), lozenge and floral woodblock-printed decorated paper boards, paper spine-label lettered in ink 'Kirby's/ Perspective/ 1768/ Vol I'. Bound two volumes in one. Uniform with Kirby's Perspective of architecture, 1761 (q.v.). The endpapers of both volumes are watermarked 'A M G/ SERAFINI/ FABRIANO' with a fleur-de-lys in a double-line circle. This watermark also appears in works by Piranesi and can be dated between the mid-1770s and the 1790s. See Andrew Robison, 'Watermarks' in Joh Wilton-Ely, Giovanni Battista Piranesi: the complete etchings (San Francisco 1994), vol. II, pp. 1150--82, nos. 43 and 57.

Reference Number 2550


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