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Britton, John
The union of architecture, sculpture, and painting; exemplified by a series of illustrations, with descriptive accounts of the house and galleries of John Soane, ... By John Britton, ...
London: printed for the author; sold by Longman and Co.; J. Taylor; and J. and A. Arch, 1827.
xvi, 60 p., hand-col. aquat. frontis., [22] engr. pl.: VI wd-engr. illus.; 32.2cm. (4°)

Small paper, quarto issue of the first published guide to Sir John Soane's Museum, largely written by W.H. Leeds; the large paper issue is described separately (q.v.). The Soane copy as described is without the final [4]-page publisher's advertisement for other books by Britton found in some copies (see Soane copy 3). The 23 plates comprise 18 plates of the house and museum numbered I--XVIII (wth pl. [XIV], which is unnumbered, acting as the frontispiece, and in some copies duplicated in the main sequence as a line engraving); three plates of the National Debt Redemption Office numbered I--III; and two of the royal gallery to the House of Lords numbered I--II. Sales were not good and Britton was obliged to reduce the price (£3 3s. large paper; £2 2s. small paper) and to write to Soane on 22 November 1828 for reimbursement for the cost of the plates and wood-blocks. Soane eventually paid Britton £680 10s. in November 1835, and fourteen of the plates were used in his own Description of the house and museum ..., 1835/6 (q.v.). See A.T. Bolton (ed.), The portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A. (London 1927), pp. 413-416, 499. BAL, Early printed books, no. 429; Fowler Cat. 70.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Imperfect; wanting pl. XVIII but with a duplicate line engraving of pl. XIV in an unnumbered, unlettered state. This is the only copy of the small paper issue in Soane's library at the time of his death. Bound in this volume at the end of the preliminaries are three watercolour drawings of the Shakespeare Recess, the Tivoli Recess and the Library-Dining Room, Not Published, which were almost certainly drawn by Soane's assistant C.J. Richardson shortly after the rooms were completed in 1829; those of the Shakespeare Recess and the Library-Dining Room are on paper watermarked 'W WEATHERLEY/1829'. The presence of the three drawings is noted in Edwin Hutchinson's bill for binding on 7 December 1829. (Archive 7/10/17).
Two further copies were acquired by the Museum after Soane's death:
Copy 2: 32.9 cm. This copy (SM Drawings Vol. 84) was purchased by the Museum in 1914 from Mr Frederick Cooke, architect, of Eastbourne. It contains the full text, and drawings by C.J. Richardson, Edward Davis and Henry Shaw for seventeen of the [22] plates, the hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece (pl. [XIV]) and engravings of plates III, VII (proof before letters) and XVI. Plate XII (the plan and section of the Picture Room), and plate III of the National Debt Redemption Office (the view of the dome and vestibule) are lacking. The drawings are laid down on leaves some of which have a watermark dated '1845'. Pasted down on the front paste-down is an armorial bookplate of Richard Benyon de Beauvoir (1770-1854) of Englefield House, Berkshire for whom of Soane carried out repairs at 6 Audley Street, London in 1804 and Englefield House in 1806. Benyon probably acquired the volume with its drawings at one of the sales of Britton's library (29 May 1839 or 22 April 1840) after Soane's death. Loosely inserted at the front are a letter in French from the bookseller Thomas Boone offering the volume to Monsieur Onghena, dated 30 November on paper with a watermark dated '1864'], and a newspaper cutting with a wood-engraved copy of pl. XV captioned 'The Belzoni Sarcophagus, In The Soane Museum'. With the printed binder's ticket of 'Leighton Son and Hodge, Shoe Lane' on the rear pastedown.
Copy 3: 29.2 cm. Another copy of the small paper edition in original grey paper boards with the original printed-paper label giving the prices of the large and small paper editions as '3l. 3s.' and '2l. 2s.' respectively, was presented to Sir John Summerson by the publisher and bookseller, Alec Tiranti, on 5 September 1947. Like BAL, no. 429 and the Fowler copy (70, p. 58), it includes a final [4] page advertisement of books by Britton issued by the same publishers. All other copies in the Soane Museum are without the advertisement. The copy presented by Tiranti is inscribed by Britton to the painter, John Jackson R.A., who was later commissioned by Soane to paint the portrait of himself in Masonic costume and the posthumous portrait of Eliza Soane which now hang in the Picture Room at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Binding Copy 1: C19th full calf, blind- and gilt-tooled borders, the upper cover gilt-lettered 'Union of Architecture, Sculpture & Painting In Illustrations & A Description of the House & Museum of J. Soane, Esq.'; blind- and gilt-tooled spine, black morocco spine-label; gilt edges. Bound by Edwin Hutchinson for 2s. on 7 December 1829. (Archive 7/10/17).
Copy 2: Later C19th dark brown sand-grained sheep, double thick-thin blind-ruled borders, blind-ruled, gilt-tolled and gilt-lettered spine, gilt edges. Bound by Leighton, Son, and Hodge of Shoe Lane, London (see above).
Copy 3: Original C19th buff paper boards, printed paper label on front cover reading 'Britton's Union of Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting. Large Paper, 3l. 3s. Small Paper, 2l. 2s.'.

Reference Number 6614


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