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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  The perspective of architecture. In two parts. A work entirely new; deduced from the principles of Dr. Brook Taylor; and performed by two rules only of universal application. Part the first, contains the description and use of a new instrument called the architectonic sector. Part the second, a new method of drawing the five orders, elegant structures, &c. in perspective. Begun by command of his present Majesty, when Prince of Wales. By Joshua Kirby, designer in perspective to His Majesty.
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KIRBY, John Joshua (1716--1774)
The perspective of architecture. In two parts. A work entirely new; deduced from the principles of Dr. Brook Taylor; and performed by two rules only of universal application. Part the first, contains the description and use of a new instrument called the architectonic sector. Part the second, a new method of drawing the five orders, elegant structures, &c. in perspective. Begun by command of his present Majesty, when Prince of Wales. By Joshua Kirby, designer in perspective to His Majesty.
London, printed for the author, by R. Francklin; and sold by T. Payne, Messieurs Knapton and Horsefield; Messieurs Dodsley; T. Longman; T. Davies; and J. Gretton, 1761.
Part II only: [2], 60, [2] p., engr. frontis., LXXIII pl. ; 56.5 cm. (2º)

Part II only. The two parts were also issued separately with new title-pages also dated 1761. The present voume can be identified as part II of the two-part issue by the presence of the fly-title reading: The perspective of architecture. A work entirely new; deduced from the principles of Dr. Brook Taylor; and performed by two rules only of universal application. Begun by command of his present Majesty, when Prince of Wales. By Joshua Kirby, ... Printed for the author. It lacks the ii page introduction which should precede the second part and the engraved dedication to the King found in some copies, but contains the final leaf with the 'Index' to both parts, the errata and the directions to the binder. It also contains the engraved frontispiece designed by William Hogarth which is normally found before the comprehensive title of the work in two parts and in the separate issue of the first part, The description and use of ... an architectonic sector, 1761 (q.v.). See notes to BAL, Early printed books, no. 1675 (describing the separate issue of part II); Harris and Savage, no. 397; ESTC t133638.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting part I, The description and use of ... an architectonic sector (including the engraved dedication to the King) and the ii pp. 'Introduction', but containing the engraved frontispiece, normally found in part I but here bound at the front of the plates. The present volume together with Soane's copy of the separate issue of The description and use of ... an architectonic sector, 1761 (q.v.), in a later English binding but intriguingly containing the 'Introduction' wanting from Part II, forms a made-up set of the complete work. Inserted at plate LIII is a loose sheet containing a rough pencil study of perspective from that plate and the preceding one, possibly by one of Soane's pupils.

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 uniformly as vol. II of Kirby's Dr. Brook Taylor's method of perspective, 1768 (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 2548


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