“In America it was especially popular” (1732)

GIBBS (James)

Rules for Drawing the several Parts of Architecture, in a more exact and easy manner than has been heretofore practised, by which all fractions, in dividing the principal members and their parts, are avoided.

Published: London: Printed by W. Bowyer for the Author,

Date: 1732

First edition, large folio (470 x 300 mm), [8], 42pp., with the initial licence leaf of copyright privilege granted to Gibbs on 19 May 1732, 64 full-page engraved plates, a very clean and bright copy, recent half calf, marbled boards, six raised bands, spine heavily tooled in gilt, red morocco title label, a handsome copy.

Provenance: Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th Baronet of Eaton (bookplate); Hugh Lupus, 1st Duke of Westminster (1825-1899).

Archer 451.1; Harris, 259; Millard, 23; RIBA 1207.

“The book appears as a conventional work on the five orders and their features, but is in fact quite exceptional... He demonstrated that the proportions upheld by Palladio might be obtained—more or less—by “dividing the Orders mechanically into equal parts.” He did not avoid the fraction entirely, but he did do away altogether with minutes. His method, moreover, had the great advantage that, given a particular height, one might determine the correct proportion for any of the orders... Gibbs book seems to have been widely used, in particular by workmen, until well into the nineteenth century. In America it was especially popular. John Singleton, Copley owned a copy, as did Thomas Jefferson.”—Millard.


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