A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles ... A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles ... A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles ... A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles ...

A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles of Architecture

MALTON, James (d.1803)

Published by printed by V. Griffiths, published by J. & T. Carpenter and others, London, 1808
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(13 x 10 5/8 inches). Aquatint additional title, 24 aquatint plates and plans, each printed in a single colour: black, dark brown, bistre or blue. Contemporary tree calf gilt, covers with border of single gilt roll, the flat spine divided into six compartments by horizontal fillets, black morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, the others with decorative repeat tooling in gilt with pointillé work (joints rubbed) A beautifully illustrated work, mostly in the neo-Gothic style, from one of the great architectural draughtsmen of the late-18th century. This valuable work begins with an essay by Malton 'Reflections on the necessity and advantage of temporary retirement' - 'The wise, the virtuously independent, who prefer the pure and tranquil retirement of the country, to the foetid joys of the tumultuous city, are they who take the most likely means to enjoy that blessing of life, happiness' (p.ii). This is followed by an introduction in which he recommends the smaller house or 'villa' as against a single very large mansion. 'Many families have been either ruined, or greatly hurt by a madness for building magnificent houses, in town or country, which have too often proved the tombs of the most substantial riches, and have soon passed into the hands of strangers' (p.9). The final section gives explanations of the fine plates, beginning with a definition of the 'rural retreat' or villa: 'A Villa, may be defined, the country retreat of a nobleman or gentleman. Its character is elegance, and its situation should be retired. A Villa should not be of great extent . It should be capable of accommodating a few chosen friends with ease and comfort; wherefore it should possess every requisite convenience for domestic felicity. Its contour should be uniform, and distinguished by unadorned beauty of form, or by just distribution of chaste ornament' (p.15). James Malton, was the son of Thomas Malton (1726-1801) and the younger brother of Thomas Malton Jr. (1748-1804). The whole family worked as architectural draughtsmen, but also specialised in different but related areas: Malton senior was noted for his work on the theory of perspective and pure geometry, Thomas Malton Jr. became well-known as a teacher (J.M.W. Turner wrote 'My real master was Tom Malton) and for his highly accurate drawings of London, whilst James was evidently keen to secure work as a practising architect: 'Mr. Malton would furnish an estimate of the cost that would be incurred in Building not only any design of this collection, but any other design of his he might make; and would enter into contract for the just execution thereof ' ('advertisement' page following the title) Abbey Life 35; Archer 196:1; Prideaux p.343; RIBA, III, 2015. Bookseller Inventory # 15231

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, ...

Publisher: printed by V. Griffiths, published by J. & T. Carpenter and others, London

Publication Date: 1808

Binding: Quarto

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