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Langley, Batty, 1696–1751

Ancient masonry, both in the theory and practice : demonstrating the useful rules of arithmetick, geometry, and architecture, in the proportions and orders of the most eminent masters of all nations : viz. Vitruvius, Bramante, Julio Romano, Michael Angelo, Carlo Cesare Osio, Andrea Palladio, Vincent Scamozzi, M.J. Barozzio of Vignola, Sebastian Serlio, Daniel Barbaro, L.B. Alberti, P. Cataneo, P. de Lorme, Viola, J. Bullant, Julian Mau-Clerc, J. Berain, Sebastian le Clerc, Claude Perault, Inigo Jones, Sir Christoph. Wren, &c. &c. &c. : and also of the Cariatides, Persians, French, Spanish, and English : together with their most valuable designs for temples, triumphal arches, portico's, colonades, piazza's, arcades, frontispieces, gates and doors, windows, niches, entablatures, pediments, capitals, festoons, trophies, ballusters, balconies, ballustrades, cieling-pieces, chimney-pieces, floors, pavements, arches, groins, stair-cases, roofs, obelisques, ornaments, &c. : the whole interspersed with critical remarks and observations on each master : illustrated by above three thousand examples, engraved on four hundred and ninety four large folio copper plates : with a dictionarial index, explaining the term of art used herein / by B. Langley.

London : Printed for, and sold by the author, at Parliament-Stairs, near Old Palace-Yard, Westminster : J. Milan over-against the Admiralty-office : and J. Huggonson, printer, in Chancery-Lane, MDCCXXXVI [1736]
Physical Description:
[4], xi, [21], 24, 29-434 pages, CCCCLXXI leaves of plates : illustrations ; 44 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2016 81 Copy 1
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2016 81 Copy 2
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Probably first issued without the plates in 1733 with the title The principles of ancient masonry, or, A general system of building compleated. The plates were published in 1736 and the completed work was retitled Ancient masonry, both in the theory and practice, with Langley taking authorship credit.
There are 459 engraved plates of which 435 are numbered (at top right or top center): I-XXXV, LXXXVII-CCCCLXVI, CCCCLXVIII-CCCCLXXI. Plates LXXXVII and CCCCLXVIII were not published, but LXXXVI was misnumbered LXXXVII so no plate is numbered LXXXVI in most copies.
Issued in weekly parts from 15 January 1733 to 10 October 1734 and thereafter until the work's completion by 10 September 1736.
Pages 25-28 omitted in numbering. Pages 23, 85, 160, 161, 164 and 252 are misnumbered '32', '89', '170', '171', '174' and '248'.
The title page is printed in red and black.
Engravings by John Carwitham, Benjamin Cole, W.H. Toms, and J. Smith; after Batty Langley and Robert West.
English short title catalogue, T21880
Harris, E. British architectural books and writers, 412
British Architectural Library. Early printed books, 1478-1840, 1729
BEIN JJaf42 L26 736: Imperfect: plate 467 and [22] p. wanting.
BAC: British Art Center copy 1 is in 2 volumes, with all plates in the second volume. Bound in contemporary sprinkled calf; rebacked. Armorial bookplates: Belton House; John Ld. Brownlowe, Baron Charleville.
BAC: British Art Center copy 2 is in 2 volumes, plates interspersed with the text. Title page for 1733 edition (The principles of ancient masonry) is used as the title page in volume 2, but in all other respects the content appears to be the same as the 1736 edition. Bound in sprinkled calf. Armorial bookplates: Richard Blackett Beaumont; R. Westly Hall Dare.
Subject Terms:
Architecture -- Early works to 1800.
Architecture -- Orders -- Early works to 1800.
Arithmetic -- Early works to 1800.
Beaumont, Richard Blackett -- Bookplate.
Belton House -- Bookplate.
Brownlowe, John, Sir, -1754 -- Bookplate.
Dare, R. Westly-Hall -- Bookplate.
Geometry -- Early works to 1800.
Milan, J. -- Publisher.
Engravings -- 1736.
Armorial bookplates (Provenance)
Huggonson, J. (John), publisher.
Carwitham, J. (John), engraver.
Cole, Benjamin, engraver.
Toms, W. H. (William Henry), approximately 1700-1765, engraver.
West, Robert, illustrator.

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