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DESGODETZ, Antoine Babuty (1653--1728)
[Les édifices antiques. 1682]
Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés tres exactement par Antoine Desgodetz ...
A Paris, chez Jean Baptiste Coignard imprimeur du Roy,, 1682.
[12], 323, [1] p., engr. t.-pl. : [137] pl. (21 double-page) printed as illus. ; 42.1 cm. (2º)

First edition. Desgodets' Édifices antiques de Rome, published in 1682 by order of Colbert to whom it is dedicated, set out to provide the first accurate, measured representations of ancient Roman buildings as they remained, unrestored. While Soane recognized the merits of this 'splendid work' - the most notable being, as he said in his third Royal Academy lecture delivered in 1810, 'that in almost every page we find the errors of Palladio and others pointed out' (Lectures (1929), p. 57) - he also found it necessary to draw attention to its inaccuracies 'to prevent the young artist from placing too great a confidence in his [Desgodets'] representations ...' (Lecture II, ibid, p. 37). William Owen's portrait of Soane, painted in 1804 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1805, shows him with a copy of this edition on his lap, open at the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli on pages 88--89. The final design for the Tivoli Corner at the Bank of England was submitted and agreed upon in 1805 and was built in the same year. BAL Early printed books, no. 858.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper No 63/ John Soane. Presumably the first copy bought by Soane, on 11 September 1786 together with 'Paine Vol. I' for 5 guineas. (Account Book 1778--1797, p. 70.)
Copy 2: 43.0 cm. With fairly extensive pencil notes in French by Soane in the margins, mostly correcting the text according to the list of errata (p. [x]) or providing glosses on technical terms. Presumably the copy purchased at Christie's Revett sale (q.v.), 26--27 June 1804 for £2 12s. 6d. (lot 71, day 2).
Copy 3: 44.0 cm. Inscribed on front paste-down endpaper £3:3s. Pantheon, plates X and XI transposed.

Binding Copy 1: Contemporary mottled calf, gilt-tooled spine.
Copy 2: Contemporary C17th sprinkled calf, gilt-tooled spine, red morocco spine-label.
Copy 3: Contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt-tooled spine

Reference Number 2091

Additional Names Revett, Nicholas (1720--1804); Christie, James, the younger (1773--1831), auctioneer. [Sale cat. 1804:06:26--27]

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