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THE WOODEN BRIDGE AT SCHAFFHAUSEN …
The Wooden Bridge at Schaffhausen in Switzerland. 364 feet Span.
London: published Aug: 1 - 1799 by, J. Taylor, No. 59, High Holborn. - with a descrptive [sic] Account in Letter Press, 1799
Hand-col. aquat. engr. ; 51.7 x 84.3 cm. (plate-mark: 47.3 x 72.3 cm.)

Separately issued print. The 'descriptive Account', first issued in 1799 (ESTC n49713), was re-issued in 1808 (q.v.). The covered wooden bridge at Schaffhausen was designed and built by Ulrich Grubenmann from 1755--58. A model of it was made by a nephew of Grubemann's for Soane's patron, the Bishop of Derry (Fredrick Hervey, later 4th Earl of Bristol), who presented it to the Dublin Society in 1771; encouraged by the Bishop, Soane visited Schaffhausen in May 1780 on his way back to England and made measured and topographical sketches (Drawer 79/I/13-15). An accurate description of the construction by Mr Jetzler of Schaffhausen was published in Johann Gerhard Reinhard Andreæ's Briefe aus der Schweiz nach Hannover geschrieben in dem Jahre 1763, Zurich, 1776, together with two engravings. William Coxe, who published a drawing by Soane of the bridge at Wettingen and was evidently a friend, saw the bridge at Schaffhausen in 1776 and again in 1785 and 1786 when, he says, it was being thoroughly repaired (q.v. in his Travels in Switzerland, 1789 vol. I, pp. 7--10). It was burnt by the retreating French armies on 13 April 1799. That event prompted Taylor's publication of a large unsigned print of the plans, sections and elevations on 1 August 1799, two copies of which are in the Soane Museum (Drawer 55/4/5-6, q.v.). Taylor's print shows the construction of the bridge in eight detailed, cross-referenced figures. A small inset 'East View of the Bridge', however, does not correspond with the information given in the numbered figures. (The view is engraved on a trompe l'oeil overlay, no doubt to emphasize its different status and origin.) Whether or not the 'descriptive Account in Letter Press' was issued with the print from the start is not clear; the manner in which mention of it has been inserted in the imprint line suggests it may have been added to make the print more attractive at some later stage. See also P. de la Ruffinière du Prey, 'Eighteenth-Century English Sources for a History of Swiss Wooden Bridges', Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Bd. 36, 1979, pp. 51--63; Angelo Maggi and Nicola Navone (eds.), John Soane and the wooden bridges of Switzerland: architecture and the culture of technology from Palladio to the Grubenmanns, exh. cat., Soane Museum, London, 2003, p. 109, cat. no. 46.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Watermark date: 1794.
Copy 2: Trimmed to plate-mark. Inscribed in pencil on verso G Dance. Part of a collection of engravings of bridges from the collection of George Dance. See J. Lever, Catalogue of the drawings of George Dance the Younger (1741--1825) and of George Dance the Elder (1695--1768) from the collection of Sir John Soane's Museum (London 2003), pp. 368--372, no. 40--41.

Binding Loose paper.

Reference Number 3436


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