Rare Architectural Books<br>From Charles Wood
By Michael Stillman
Charles Wood Antiquarian Booksellers has issued its 120th catalogue, "Rare Architectural Books from circa 1800 to circa 1950." There really isn't anything more to say in terms of describing what this catalogue is about. The title says it all. So we will just provide a few of the almost 200 listings found within.
Banister Fletcher and Banister F. Fletcher (father and son) produced one of the most popular works on architectural history, A History of Architecture for the Student, Craftsman, and Amateur... It has been printed in at least 19 editions. The 1987 edition included 1,621 pages and 1,524 plates. The copy offered by Wood has nothing like this, limited to only 300 pages and 115 plates. However, it does have one distinction: this is a first edition. It was published in 1896. Item 41. $300.
If you are looking for hints designing your villa, what could be better than Edmund Aikin's Designs for Villas and Other Rural Buildings... This is an 1835 edition of a book originally published in 1808, but includes a memoir of Aikin, who died in 1830, by his sister Lucy. Aikin's designs were marked by simplicity, his being no fan of the gothic revival of that era. Item 2. $1,500.
If villas are out of your price range, there's always Cottage Building; or Hints for Improving the Dwellings of Working Men and Labourers, by Bruce Allen. By the late 19th century, much more interest was being displayed in housing for working people. This copy, from 1886, was a tenth edition of a book originally published in 1849. Others would continue to be published at least as late as 1906. Item 3. $150.
If that's still too pricey a residence, there is always Stables, Outbuilding and Barns. Actually, some of these barns were undoubtedly more expensive than the workingman's house. Author George E. Harney offered plans for both expensive and cheap stables, barns, and farmhouses, along with a plan for a dairy, hen house, icehouse, and even a manure pit. For those not familiar with manure pits, you're lucky. They are for underground storage of you-know-what. This is a circa 1870 first and only edition. Item 52. $750.