Statham, H. H. (Ed.)
The Cathedrals of England and Wales
Seller ID: 1676
London: the Builder, 1894. First edition, the Builder series (unpaginated). Elephant folio (59 cm) in brown publisher's cloth, titles in black to front cover; thirty-one full-page photo lithograph plates picturing English and Welsh cathedrals (44 cm x 32 cm) laid down on heavy paper, together with plans of the respective buildings drawn to scale (some double page). A two or three page description of each of the thirty-one cathedrals including the building's history and features of its design (the various authors largely unacknowledged) is accompanied by an elevation and a plan of the building on a large scale. According to Statham's introduction, this is the first published work for architects to present plans of English and Welsh cathedrals on such a large scale. Most of the churches were measured expressly for this publication, and in some cases the entire building has been completely surveyed. H. H. Statham, FRIBA, was editor (1883- 1908) of The Builder, a leading architectural journal, of whom it is said his "work as an editor was valued for raising the cultural level of architecture by his quality of thought and language. He stood aside from contemporary debate about style, representing a conservative viewpoint and an appreciation of the structural logic of French architecture.... His contribution on 'Modern architecture' (from 1800) to the article 'Architecture' in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910) was a lively summary of the international scene, biased towards an artistic expression of classicism" (ODNB). The text, plates, and plans are all near fine-- a small, unobtrusive stamp of the previous owner's name is the single but pervasive fault as it was applied in a corner of each of the plates and plans. The basis of the original binding was gutta percha which has of course perished, and on the bookbinder's advice I have not sought to have the book re-bound. Sewing the large, heavy single sheets would have been impractical. Instead, the remnant gutta percha has been removed and the backstrip repaired so the contents are effectively housed in a large and suitably stout portfolio comprised of the original covers. An attractive and scarce collection of fine drawings and large scale detailed plans of some of the most interesting and grand institutional buildings in Great Britain.
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