Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  A compleat treatise on perspective, in theory and practice; on the true principles of Dr. Brook Taylor. Made clear, in theory, by various moveable schemes, and diagrams: and reduced to practice, in the most familiar and intelligent manner; shewing how to delineate all kinds of regular objects, by rule. ... The whole explicitly treated; ... in four books. Embellished with an elegant frontispiece, and forty-eight plates. Containing diagrams, views, and original designs in architecture, &c. ... invented, delineated and, great part, engraved by the author, Thomas Malton. The second edition, corrected and improved; with large additions.
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
Image Not Yet Available
MALTON, Thomas (1726--1801)
A compleat treatise on perspective, in theory and practice; on the true principles of Dr. Brook Taylor. Made clear, in theory, by various moveable schemes, and diagrams: and reduced to practice, in the most familiar and intelligent manner; shewing how to delineate all kinds of regular objects, by rule. ... The whole explicitly treated; ... in four books. Embellished with an elegant frontispiece, and forty-eight plates. Containing diagrams, views, and original designs in architecture, &c. ... invented, delineated and, great part, engraved by the author, Thomas Malton. The second edition, corrected and improved; with large additions.
London: printed for the author; and sold by Messrs. Robson; Becket; Taylor; Dilly; and by the author, No. 56, Poland-street, Oxford Road, near the Pantheon, 1779.
[4], iv, [8], 8, 296, [8] p., engr. frontis., XLVIII pl. (45 fold.) ; 35.1 cm. (2°)

First published in 1775, probably in parts and then reissued once complete with a new title-page dated 1776, a preface and a table of contents. However the premises of the printers Cox and Bigg were destroyed by fire in March of that year with the loss of nearly 200 copies of the Perspective (out of a print run of 500) and Malton was then pursued by the paper merchants Wright and Gill for payment for the paper used for the destroyed copies. An account of this was published as 'A True Case, Between the Author, ... His Printers, and Paper Merchants' (8 pp.), first issued with An essay, concerning the publication of works ... by subscription ... by Thomas Malton, 1777 and reissued with the second edition of the Perspective which was again published in parts between 1777 and 1778 (ESTC t100663), with a new issue with a reset title-page dated 1779, a reset dedication and a new table of contents probably appearing once serial publication was complete (ESTC t167091). Dedicated to the 'President And Members Of The Royal Academy ...'. With a subdivided list of subscribers: the monarch, aristocracy and metropolitan gentry first, then 'Royal Academicians and other Artists, &c.', followed by 'Architects, &c.' (including carpenters, builders, surveyors and craftsmen), then 'Upholders, Cabinet-makers, &c.', and finally provincial subscribers listed in order of social rank by town. Samuel Wale, the Royal Academy's Professor of Perspective, is conspicuously absent from the list of subscribers. Plates IV, V, VIII and XXXVII have moveable overlays. An appendix, or second part to the Complete treatise on perspective was published in 1783 (2nd ed. 1800, q.v.).

Copies of the 1779 issue appear to contain a number of variants. According to COPAC, the dedication is found in at least two states. In one, as in the Soane copy, the catchword on the first page is 'Tis; in the other, the catchword is It. In some copies 'A True Case ...' appears in the preliminaries (as in this copy), sometimes as the end, and the 'Errata' appear on the page preceding p. [1] or at the end, as here. The four-page list of subscribers is also found in at least two states. In one, the list of subscribers is in two columns, and is numbered [i]-iii, 4; in the other, it is in three columns, and is numbered [i]-iv as here. Some copies including the BAL one were apparently issued without 'A True Case ...' or the four-page list of subscribers. BAL additionally reports that some copies contain two lists of subscribers, one of eight pages and one (containing subscribers 'In Dublin) of four pages, the latter possibly printed in Dublin and issued with copies distributed by Malton after his move to that city in 1779. ESTC t167091; BAL, Early printed books, no. 2020.

Copy Notes Bought for 15s. on 23 March 1786. (Account Book 1781-6).

Binding C18th sprinkled calf, blind-tooled Cambridge panels, backed in calf with gilt roll-tooled borders, gilt-tooled spine, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 2718


If you have any further information about this book,
please contact us:

books@soane.org.uk