SOANE, JOHN. 1753-1837.
Designs in Architecture; Consisting of Plans, Elevations, and Sections, for Temples, Baths, Cassines, Pavilions, Garden-Seats, Obelisks, and other Buildings. London: I. Taylor, 1778.
Large 8vo (270 x 175 mm). Letterpress title and 37 engraved plates (numbered 1-38). Half red morocco, c.1810. Title lightly spotted, without the publisher's advertisement leaf.
Provenance: George Thomas Leaton Blenkinsopp [1783-1864] of Whickham House, County Durham (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF SOANE'S FIRST BOOK. Here he is still spelling his name "Soan"; he would add an "e" in 1784 to distance himself from his humble origins as the son of a bricklayer. The final two plates depict his design for "A Mausoleum to the Memory of James King," a friend who drowned during a boating party that Soane missed because he was working over a weekend; Soane's near-misshe could not swimcaused him "to associate divine providence with the work ethic" (Ruffinière Du Prey, 77).
It would be another three years before Soane received his first commission, for a picturesque dairy (such a building is also featured in the present work), but he eventually became architect to the Bank of England and Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy. His most famous legacy is his house at 1214 Lincoln's Inn Fields.