Essay on Rural Architecture

ELSAM Richard

Publication Date: 1803
From Bauman Rare Books (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

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ELSAM, Richard. An Essay on Rural Architecture To Which are Added, Rural Retreats and Villas With Ideas for Park-Entrances, A Mausoleum, And A Design for the Naval Pillar to Immortalize British Naval Heroism. London: Philanthropic Society, 1803. Tall quarto (11 by 14 inches), contemporary full brown polished calf rebacked, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, black morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $3500.First edition of Elsam s designs for rural architecture contesting the rustic cottage with a "more sublime Gothic style," with 31 plates (30 sepia aquatints, one steel-engraved), handsomely bound.English architect and writer Richard Elsam published this profusely illustrated Essay on Rural Architecture in 1803 to contest James Malton s 1798 Essay on British Cottage Architecture, which was a work that "espoused the roughness and irregularity of the English rustic cottage in his designs for country retreats. Elsam objected to the lowly status and insalubrious effects on the mind of such buildings, preferring instead the equally nationalist but more sublime Gothic style"(Lefaivre & Tzonis, 476). Elsam vigorously disputed Malton s view of rural British architecture as dwellings distinguished by rough textures and asymmetry, "half-timbering and barge boarding, lattice windows and stable doors" (Millard 42). To Elsam, "architecture is like music" and no "person of taste, who had the intention of building a small house in the cottage style, would, by preference, expend a sum of money to exhibit the aspect of an old house." Instead he proposes designs of a "simple uniform plan calculated to produce harmonious effects." With 31 large plates, including 30 sepia aquatints and one steel-engraveing (three with fold-out extensions). Abbey Life 14. Watkins, 108. Ebert, 500. Archer 69.1. Colvin, 194. Text and plates generally fresh with light scattered foxing, a few minor abrasions to contemporary calf. A nearly fine copy. Bookseller Inventory # 78684

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Essay on Rural Architecture

Publication Date: 1803

Edition: First Edition.

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