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SOANE, Sir John (1753--1837)
[Designs in architecture. 1778]
Designs in architecture; consisting of plans, elevations, and sections, for temples, baths, cassines, pavilions, garden-seats, obelisks, and other buildings; for decorating pleasure-ground [sic], parks, forests, &c. &c. Engraved on 38 copper-plates. By John Soan.
London: printed for I. Taylor, at the Bible and Crown, in Holborn, 1778.
[4] p., XXXVIII [i.e. 37] pl. ; 26.8 cm. (8º)

The penultimate plate bears two numbers (XXXVI/XXXVII). The plates are dated 1 July 1778. The second leaf of letterpress contains the publisher's advertisement 'I. Taylor Having purchased the few remaining Copies of the Works of the late Joshua Kirby ...'. Issued shortly after he departed on his grand tour, this was Soane's first publication, and his most successful one, remaining in print until 1826 with new title-pages issued as stocks of the old title-leaves were exhausted in 1789, 1790 and 1797 (q.v.), followed by at least one undated title-plate no earlier than 1798. However, it was a juvenile effort of which Soane was not particularly proud and it is not surprising that there are no copies of the 1789 and 1790 'editions' in his library. There is no evidence to support the DNB statement that Soane bought up and destroyed all copies of this book that could be found, and indeed his copies of the 1797 'edition' appear to have been specially printed for his own use in folio format to bind after copies of his Plans, elevations and sections (1788, q.v.) and Sketches in architecture (1793, q.v.). For a full description of the publication history and of Soane's designs, see Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect (Chicago 1982), pp. 54--105; see also Harris and Savage, British architectural books and writers 1556--1785 (Cambridge 1990), pp. 427--428. ESTC t82195; BAL, Early printed books, no. 3093; Harris and Savage, 838; Millard II, 76.

Copy Notes Copy 2: 27.5 cm. With pl. XXXVIII bound as a frontispiece.

Binding Copy 1: Later C19th half calf, blind roll-tooled borders, marbled-paper boards, gilt double-ruled and direct-lettered spine. This copy was bound by George Richmond for 2s. 6d. on 6 April 1853. (Curatorial Papers/Bailey/ Parcel 1).
Copy 2: C19th half calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt double-ruled spine, dark green morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 3313


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