SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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SMIRKE, Sydney.
W.R.H. Essex (artist)
Illustrations Of The Architectural Ornaments And Embellishments, And Painted Glass, of The Temple Church, London. From Drawings Specially Made, By Permission, By W.H. Essex. With An Account Of The Recent Restoration Of The Church By Sydney Smirke

Published
London: John Weale, 59 High Holborn, 1845.
Plates
23
Binding/Size
M=4to
Value
0-5000
Published
London: John Weale, 59 High Holborn, 1845.
Ref
590

4to. (298 x 228 mm.). Original blind-stamped decorative cloth gilt lettered title to the centre of the upper board; half-title title 15 [1]pp. 30 lithographed plates of which 19 are hand-coloured (including one double-page heightened in gold and two folding) and four tinted; light scattered spotting to some of the leaves otherwise a very good copy. First edition. Sydney Smirke (1798-1877) succeeded his brother, the architect Sir Robert Smirke as a surveyor of the Inner Temple in 1841. Along with Decimus Burton, he was responsible for restoring Temple Church in the first half of the 1840's. Consecrated in 1185, the Round Church had fallen into a poor state of repair. Smirke notes that The main external walls were pushed out towards the north-south and east; the vaulting was fissured to an alarming extent, and the pillars were mutilated and corroded to their core. The whole fabric was in truth on the verge of dissolution." The interior was decorated in a High Victorian Gothic style to replicate the bright colouring of the original. Almost a hundred years later, German firebombs destroyed the restoration. W.H Essex's drawings show a selection of the church's restored sculptural elements, the painted reredos, and the stained-glass windows, the latter the work of Thomas Willement, the stained-glass painter. Coloured plates in order: 1. Stained Glass from the Windows at the East End of the South Aisle. 2. Stained Glass from the Window at the East End of the North and South Aisles. 3. Stained Glass from the Window at the East End of the South Aisle. 4. Stained Glass from the Windows at the East End of the North Aisle. 5. Stained Glass from the Windows at the East End of the South Aisle. 6. Stained Glass from the Windows at the East End of the North and South Aisles. 7. Side Lights of Centre Window of South Aisle. 8. Middle Light of Centre Window of South Aisle. 9. East Window of Tower. 10. Decoration of Ceiling (4 figs). 11. Decoration of Ceiling, Spandrils at the East End of Nave. 12. Decoration of Ceiling, Spandrils of Side Aisles. 13. Decoration of Ceiling, Spandrils at the East End of the Side Aisles (folding plate). 14. Decoration of Ceiling, Spandrils of Nave (folding plate). 15. Decoration of Groined Dome. 16. Decoration of Archways at the West End of the South & North Aisles. 17. Decoration of Central Archway at the West End of the Chancel. 18. Decoration of Spandrils & Window Splays at the East End of Middle Aisle / Decorations to Window Splays in Side Aisles / Spandrils over Windows in Side Aisles / Device in Quatrefoil on the South Side of East Window. 19. Elevation of Altar Piece (double page). 20. Carved Oak Elbow to Seats (male). 21. As above (female). 22. As above (lamb and acorns). 23. As above (winged horse and flora).