KENT, William (1685-1748), editor. The designs of Inigo Jones, consisting of Plans and Elevations for Publick and Private buildings. London: By the author, 1727.

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2 volumes in one. Folio (21 1⁄2 x 14 1⁄2 in; 54.6 x 36.8 cm.). Engraved allegorical frontispiece after W. Kent, vignette title-pages with engraved portrait of Jones, 136 numbered plates printed from 102 copper-plates on 97 leaves (24 double-page, 5 folding) by P. Fourdrinier, H. Hulsbergh, J. Cole and A. Herisset, most drawn by Henry Flitcroft, the designs credited to Jones, Kent and Lord Burlington, engraved Head and tailpieces after Kent; without the half-title, intermittent lightbrowning, one or two pale marginal stains. Contemporary half vellum, morocco lettering piece on the spine; extremities a bit scuffed, vellum lightly soiled.

FIRST EDITION, “The Designs of Inigo Jones is an impressive and important book. Yet, oddly enough more influential than any single building depicted in it were its plates of doors, windows, niches, etc. These plates seem to have had a formative effect upon Gibb’s Book of Architecture (1728) and from that point on became a standard feature of eighteenth-century pattern books” (Harris p. 251). The publication of ‘The Designs’ was initiated and funded by Lord Burlington, who had purchased a group of drawings by Jones and his pupil John Webb along with 5 drawings by Palladio from Jones’ collection in 1720. These were copied by Henry Flitcroft and, together with drawings by Kent and Burlington, engraved by Hulsbergh and others. Intent on promoting public works, in particular the building of a royal palace, Kent and Burlington devoted more than two-thirds of the plates in volume one to designs for a palace at Whitehall, even though this was the work of Webb, Jones’ pupil. Included within volume is a plan, elevation, and section of Chiswick House by Burlington, with chimneypieces by Kent. Volume two included the Queen’s House at Greenwich, Burlington’s dormitory of Westminster school, and a remarkable design for a palace on the Thames at richmond. Jones’ designs for the portico of Old St. Paul’s follow at the end of volume two, together with seven plates of Palladio’s S. Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. RIBA notes that “most copies...want the half-title”.

REFERENCES: Fowler 162 (lacking frontispiece); Harris 385; Millard British 34 (lacking half-title); RIBA 1624 (lacking half-title and frontispiece). #72lib1112