Sims Reed Rare Books×

The Designs of Inigo Jones, Consisting of Plans and Elevations for Public and Private Buildings. With Some Additional Designs

Jones, Inigo. Kent, William

London. Published by William Kent. 1727
An outstanding example of the first edition of the published works of Inigo Jones in contemporary French red morocco.

Essentially based on the Jones-Webb collection of architectural drawings purchased by Lord Burlington in the early 1720s, this book provides extensive coverage of Jones's designs for the Banqueting House in Whitehall and various smaller projects. The work gives much space to the designs by Jones and Webb for Whitehall Palace as a whole (without acknowledging that they are in fact mainly by Webb) and adds to the drawings from this source four plates based on Palladio's drawings for S. Giorgio in Venice (which Burlington had also acquired). There are, in addition, a large number of plates illustrating buildings designed by Lord Burlington himself, notably Chiswick House and the Westminster School dormitory. The whole forms a splendid record of Jones's work and of Burlington's reinterpretation of Palladio and Jones for his own time.

''The Designs of Inigo Jones' was a significant feature in Burlington's campaign to establish a new standard of taste in England: the first ... in a series of visual exemplars ... It was published again as late as 1770, with an additional perspective view of the Whitehall Palace.' (Millard).

The allegorical frontispiece by William Kent, frequently lacking, is present here.

The subscribers' leaf lists more than 350 (several ordering multiple copies), and includes 18 Dukes and 22 Earls, one of whom was Lord Burlington, the commissioner of the work who ordered 12 sets. Other notable subscribers were Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Colen Campbell, Isaac Ware, Paul Fourdrinier (listed as Fourdriener), Sir Robert Walpole and Hans Sloane; there is no clear French candidate as a subscriber for the present copy.

The bookplate to the front pastedown is that of Baron Alexis de Redé (1922 - 2004). Born Oskar Dieter Alex von Rosenberg in Zurich (he inherited his title on the death of his brother in 1942), de Redé was an Austro-Hungarian banker, aesthete, collector and socialite known for exquisite taste, opulent hospitality and legendary balls. Dubbed 'La Pompadour de nos jours' by Nancy Mitford, de Redé lived for over 50 years in an apartment at the Hôtel Lambert on the Isle de Saint-Louis in Paris, and after they bought it in the late 1970s he shared the house with Marie-Hélène - with whom he threw balls at the Château de Ferrières - and Guy de Rothschild. de Redé's copy of 'The Designs of Inigo Jones' passed to the Rothschilds on his death in 2004.

[Millard 34; Fowler 162].
2 volumes. In 1. Folio. (505 x 390 mm). Frontispiece, title with engraved vignette, dedication with engraved head- and tail-pieces to King George (George I who died in 1727), advertisement leaf, list of plates, list of subscriber's (pp. x) and 52 engraved plates numbered 1 - 73, of which five are large fold-outs and take four numbers each, and 7 double-page taking 2 numbers each; Vol.II - title with engraved vignette, list of plates (pp. vi) and 45 engraved plates numbered 1 - 63, of which 18 are double-page and take 2 numbers each; two small tape repairs to frontispiece recto, some leaves slightly toned as often. Contemporary French red morocco, boards with triple gilt rules, banded spine with gilt decoration and tooling with green morocco label with gilt title in eight compartments, turn-ins with roll tool border, board edges ruled in gilt, marbled endpapers, a.e.g.

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