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ADAM, William.

Vitruvius Scoticus;

Being a Collection of Plans, Elevations and Sections of Public Buildings, Noblemen's and Gentlemen's Houses, Principally in Scotland: Principally from the Designs of the Late William Adam, Esq. Architect.

Stock Code
Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black, 1811

A beautiful unsophisticated copy of the notoriously rare Vitruvius Scoticus, the paramount source for the history of classical architecture in Scotland.

What was to become William Adam's (1689 - 1748) magisterially-intentioned yet still mysterious Vitruvius Scoticus was first mentioned in a letter in 1726 and by late 1727 Adam was issuing subscription receipts for a book of 'My Designs for Buildings &c. in 150 Plates'. Initially proposed as a book in the manner of James Gibbs' Book of Architecture ('the first book in England to be devoted entirely to the designs of a living architect'), Adam intended clearly to rival Gibbs, to publicise his own work and to seek promotion and patronage from the new King, George II. By 1733, Adam had found an Edinburgh-based engraver suitable for the task (and one who may have shouldered some of the cost) in Richard Cooper, a student of John 'Friar' Pine and 'an

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First edition, folio (55 x 38.4 cm.), Printed title, two leaves with 'List of the Plans, &c.' in double columns listing 160 plates and 180 engraved plates numbered 1 - 160, including the unnumbered plates 71 and 148 and 20 'bis' plates with duplicate numbers, 20 double-page and one large folding plate on two sheets; plates mounted on paper tabs (from sheets of the same worký) throughout, the title and text leaves on wove paper with the watermark '1809', the plates on laid paper with the watermark 'LLAR' and a fleur-de-lys countermark and others as per RIBA, the sheets retaining deckle edges throughout. Sheet size: c. 53.4 x 35.6 cm; double-page plates: c. 53.4 x 71.2 cm; title and text: 51.8 x 35.8 cm. Contemporary calf-backed marbled paper boards, later protective box.


BAL RIBA 30 (incomplete); Millard 3 (disbound and mounted); Harris 8; Weinreb 2:4 & 58:1; see 'British Architectural Books and Writers 1556 - 1785' by Eileen Harris, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 94 - 104.

Stock ID:94665

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