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Pugin, Augustus Charles (1769--1832) - Collections
Specimens of Gothic architecture; selected from various antient edifices in England: consisting of plans, elevations, sections, and parts at large; calculated to exemplify the various styles, and the practical construction of this class of admired architecture. Accompanied by historical and descriptive accounts. (Vol. II.) By A. Pugin, ...
London: printed for J. Taylor, Architectural Library; A. Pugin, 34, Store Street; and J. Britton, Burton Street, 1821. (1823).
2 vols ; 34.0 cm. (4°)
I: xx, 38, [2] p., etch. t.-pl., [59] pl.
II: xxiii, [1], 32, [2] p., LIV pl.

The title of vol. II omits the comma following 'The Various Styles'. This is the first British architectural pattern book to give accurate drawings of Gothic details. Each volume was published in three numbers. The introductory essay and the description of the plates were written by Edward James Willson, who also compiled a Glossary, published in 1822 with its own title-page (q.v.). The Soane copy is one of only six large paper copies with India paper proofs; volume I has pasted on the front free-endpaper an printed 'Explanation' respecting the irregular order of the plates. See BAL, Early printed books, no. 2660 (ordinary paper copy) and especially the notes, p. 1579.

Copy Notes On the front paste-down is a letter from J. Britton dated July 1822 informing Soane that he has retained volume I of Pugin's Specimens of gothic architecture for him as there are only Six copies printed (meaning proof copies). On 23 November 1822 a fire at Taylor's Architectural Library in Holborn destroyed all the unsold copies of volume I and the Glossary. Soane purchased volume II from Britton in August 1822 and paid him 6 guineas in January 1823. Both volumes of this copy are large paper with proof plates; volume I unopened. Willson's Glossary, 1822 (q.v.) is bound at the end of vol. II.

Binding Original green (vol. I) and grey (vol. II) paper boards, printed paper spine-labels. Pasted down on the upper cover of each volume is a printed paper label giving the title, the volume number, the number of plates (sixty and fifty-four respectively) and the price; on volume I the price of a large paper copy has been altered in ink from £4.14s.6d. to £6.0.0. The front cover of volume II inscribed in ink India Proofs/only 6 copies printed/JB.

Reference Number 4249


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