Sims Reed Rare Books×

A Series of Particular and Useful Observations, Made with Great Diligence and Care, Upon that Admirable Structure, the Cathedral-Church of Salisbury

Price, Francis

London. Printed by C. and J. Ackers ... and Sold by R. Baldwin. 1753
A good copy of the first edition of Francis Price's analysis of the architecture of Salisbury Cathedral and the first analytical rendering of a Gothic building.

Francis Price's text, illustrated with his own drawings, details the structure of Salisbury Cathedral as well as the repairs undertaken at the instigation of the dedicatee, William Sherlock, when Bishop. Price also includes text from Sir Christopher Wren's survey from the seventeenth century as well as translated Latin detail from an anonymously produced mediaeval manuscript. Intriguingly, given the provenance of the book and the presentation note, the mediaeval Latin was translated by William Boucher (see pg. ii) of Sarum; 'William Bowcher, Gent. Sarum' appears in the list of subscribers (presumably the same) and it appears at least plausible that this copy was inherited by his son before presentation to Hayward.

' ... the first serious attempt to describe and analyse the structure of a major Gothic building ... '. (Colvin).

'Price (c.1704 - 1753) was Surveyor at Salisbury Cathedral from 1737 until his death. This work describes the results of a major survey undertaken by Price at the request of Bishop Sherlock (to whom the book is dedicated), and, as such, it forms the basis of many subsequent accounts. Plates drawn by the author demonstrate the structure of the tower and spire, with added iron 'bandages' for strength.' (Weinreb).

[BAL RIBA 2614; Weinreb 1:139 & 43:204; see 'Francis Price, Carpenter' by Colvin & Ferriday in The Architectural Review, November 1953].
pp. (xiii), v, 78, (i) 4to. (284 x 234 mm). Printed title, two leaves with Price's dedication to 'Thomas [Sherlock], Lord Bishop of London', four leaves with 'List of Subscribers', three leaves with Price's Preface, engraved frontispiece and Price's text illustrated with 13 engraved hors texte plates (two folding) each with engraved caption by Fourdrinier after Price's drawings and numbered 1 - 13, final leaf with advertisement for the second edition of Price's 'The British Carpenter' recto; decorative woodcut head-pieces and decorative 5-line initials. Contemporary calf-backed marbled boards, banded spine ruled in gilt with red morocco label with gilt title 'PRICE ON THE CATHEDRA' in six compartments, hinges worn.

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