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BLONDEL, Jacques-François (1705--1774)
Architecture françoise, ou recueil des plans, elevations, coupes et profils des eglises, maisons royales, hôtels & edifices les plus considérables de Paris, ainsi que des châteaux & maisons de plaisance situés aux environs de cette ville, ou en d'autres endroits de la France, bâtis par les plus célébres architectes, & mesurés exactement sur les lieux. Avec la description de ces edifices, & des dissertations utiles & intéressantes sur chaque espece de bâtiment. Par Jacques-François Blondel, ...
A Paris chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, libraire du Roi pour le génie & l'artillerie, 1752[--56].
4 vols ; 43.5 cm. (2°)
I: ix, [3], 298, [2] p., 152 pl. (11 fold.) : illus.
II: [4], 164 p., [147] pl. [=159 coppers] (25 fold.) : illus.
III: [2], 1, [1], 160 p., [140] pl. [=144 coppers] (11 fold.) : illus.
IV: v, [3], 156 p., [58] pl. [=72 coppers] (35 fold.)

Sometimes referred to as the 'Grand Blondel' to distinguish it from the author's octavo format Cours d'architecture, Paris 1771--1773 (see BAL Early printed books, no. 296). Many of the coppers are new impressions of J. Mariette's plates published under a similar title starting in 1727 (see BAL 129). Jombert had acquired the coppers around 1750 and planned to rearrange and expand on the Mariette work, employing Jacques-François Blondel, the author of De la distribution des maisons de plaisance (q.v., published by Jombert in 1737--38) to prepare a new text, but publication of the Architecture française ceased after the fourth volume in 1756.

The plates are numbered top right in separate series according to the 'livre' and 'chapitre' where they are described, and bottom right consecutively 1--152 (tome I), 153--300 (tome II), 301--441 (tome III), and 442--500 (tome IV). One plate consists of two separate coppers numbered 268 and 269. Plates 178, 238, 239, 246, 247, 254, 257, 258, 278, 432, 458, 483 and 486--490 each bear the impressions of two separate coppers numbered thus; plates 279, 358 and 359 each bear the impressions of three separate coppers numbered thus; plate [465] bears the impressions of two unnumbered coppers ('Eleuation de la facade du Palais des Thuilleries du coté de la Cour' and 'Eleuation ... du coté du jardin'); and plate 466 is made up of impressions of seven plates numbered 466.1--7. Many of the folded plates are made up of pasted-together sheets making it difficult to determine how many coppers were used. There are no plates numbered 490 and 491 in this copy: the former is misnumbered '492' (very faint impression, with '490' visible on the left sheet under the pasted-down edge of the right sheet) and the next plate resumes the running number at '492'. These irregularities differ slightly from those described in relation to the Millard copy, where plate '495' is recorded as omitted; see Millard I, p. 60. Millard I, 28, pp. 60--63.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Probably the 'Archit. Francois 4 Jour.' [i.e. a transcription error for '4 Tom.'] purchased from Josiah Taylor for 9 guineas on 17 June 1795. (Jnl 3, p. 40.) With English equivalents of occasional words in vol. I and II inscribed in pencil (e.g. on vol. I pp. 143, 155 and 157), and pl. 490 cropped with loss of the top right series caption ('Liv.VII. No.1 Pl. 17').
Copy 2: The plates to 'Livre VII' only, numbered 1--26 (running numbers 474--499), depicting Versailles. In this set of impressions, evidently from a later state, the numbering of plates 490--499 has been corrected. Plate 490 wanting the left sheet.

Binding Copy 1: C18th 'catspaw' calf, gilt-tooled spines, red morocco and brown spine-labels.
Copy 2: Contemporary(?) C18th blue paper boards, red morocco spine-label. With a tiny printed paper spine-label at foot of spine reading '638'.

Reference Number 1714


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