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COADE'S ARTIFICIAL STONE MANUFACTORY, King's Arms Stairs, Narrow-Wall, Lambeth.
[Etchings of Coade's Artificial Stone Manufacture Narrow Wall Lambeth near Westminster Bridge]
[London]: [Coade's Artificial Stone Manufactory], [1784 or after?].
[63] etch. pl. ; 23.5 x 30.0 cm. (obl. 4°)

A collection of 63 etched plates of Coade designs, thirteen bearing dates between 1777 and 1778. Eleanor Coade set up in business manufacturing artificial stone in 1769, working with all the eminent Georgian architects including Soane, who used a frieze described as 'no. 186' in one of his earliest dated buildings, a house at Adam's Place, Southwark in 1780--82. Etched plates of Coade designs were produced and eventually assembled into suites, copies of which, variously put together, survive in the Soane Museum, British Library, Royal Academy of Arts, and National Art Library; the above collation describes the Soane copy. By the 1780s there was a sufficient variety of designs that a letterpress catalogue was issued in 1784 (q.v.), containing 778 different items including vases, chimney-pieces, capitals, string-courses, friezes, plaques, medallions, decorative motifs and figures. Soane continued to use Coade stone, and later the scagliola produced by the factory after Mrs Coade's death under the management of William Croggon, throughout his career as an architect, including the two caryatids on the façade of his house at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields. See Alison Kelly, 'Sir John Soane and Mrs Eleanor Coade: a long-lasting business relationship', Apollo, April 1989, pp. 247-253; Alison Kelly, 'Coade stone in Georgian architecture', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 28 (1985), pp. 71--95; Alison Kelly, Mrs Coade's stone (Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs, 1990); Peter Thornton and Helen Dorey, A miscellany of objects from Sir John Soane's Museum (London 1992), p. 121.

Copies of the etched catalogue are often found with the firm's trade card reading 'Coade's, Lithodipyra or Artificial-Stone Manufactory For all kind of Statues, Capitals, Vases, Tombs, Coats of Arms, & Architectural ornaments &c, &c; particularly expressed in Catalogues, & Books of Prints of 800 Articles & upwards; Sold at ye Manufactory near Kings Arms Stairs, Narrow Wall, Lambeth, opposite Whitehall Stairs, & at Mr. Strahan's, Bookseller, No. 67 Strand, London', serving as a title-plate; this is lacking in the Soane copy, but present in one of two copies of the 1784 Descriptive catalogue in the Museum, which probably accompanied the etched catalogue and may previously have been bound with it. The first plate matches the description of pl. [1] in the Royal Academy copy but is uncaptioned (possibly cropped). ESTC t3352; Harris and Savage, 136.

Copy Notes The plates are numbered 1--80 top right; this numbering includes 19 stubs with MS. notes in ink or pencil describing additional designs, but does not include two further plates, evidently attached to the verso of the plate bearing the MS. number 46 at a later stage, and included in the above collation. The stubs may represent plates removed by Soane when placing an order. Some of the plates bear etched plate-numbers in the form 'N. 1', etc.; these are mostly the dated plates. Some of the plates have etched figure numbers, many of them altered in ink. All the figures are keyed with numbers in MS. corresponding to entries in the letterpress Descriptive catalogue. Eight of the plates are marked in MS. as proof copies.

Binding Stitched without wrappers, traces of blue paper and parchment spine.

Reference Number 6861


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