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LAING, David (1774--1856)
Plans, elevations, and sections, of buildings public and private, executed in various parts of England, &c including the new Custom-House, London, with plans, details, and descriptions. Engraved on fifty-nine plates. By David Laing, F.S.A. architect and surveyor to the Board of Customs, &c.
London: printed by Bensley and Sons; and published by J. Taylor, Architectural Library, 1818.
[10], xiv, [2], 44 p., 57 [i.e. 45] pl. : [2] engr. illus. ; 56.5 cm. (2°)

There are 12 double-page plates each bearing two numbers (1--20, 36--39); presumably the two unnumbered illustrations on pages 1 and 30 were added to the 57 numbered plates to make the total of 59 called for on the title-page. In the Soane copy, plates 15--22, 33--35 and 56--57 are printed on India paper. Laing was articled to Soane in 1790 and remained in his office until 1796. Soane was a subscriber to the book and one of three Attached Architects, together with Nash and Smirke (also subscribers to the present work), who were requested by the Office of Works to examine the accusations of contractual malpractices on Laing's part; malpractices which ultimately resulted in the appearance of cracks in the building in 1820, its collapse in 1825, and Laing's dismissal as surveyor to the Customs and professional ruin. See Howard Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects 1699--1840, 4th ed. (New Haven and London 2008), pp. 626--628. BAL, Early printed books, no. 1716.

Copy Notes Soane paid Laing £7 7s. for a 'Copy of [his] Publication half bound exchanged for a copy first sent in boards' (presumably trading up his subscription copy) in '1820'; the account for this and a copy of 'Book on the programme of Coronation' (most likely the copy of Richard Thomson, A faithful account of the processions and ceremonies observed in the coronation of the kings and queens of England: exemplified in that of ... King George the Third, and Queen Charlotte, 1820, q.v.) less a part payment 'by Cash on Account', is dated 24 December 1825. (Archive 16/15/48/2).

Binding C19th quarter russia calf, gilt roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, gilt- and blind-tooled spine, marbled endpapers to match the boards.

Reference Number 4174


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