Berlin: Ad 1. Ad 2: Verlag Bruno Hessling, 1936-1939 and 1977. First Edition. Together 2 vols. Ad 1: xv, , 782,  pp. With 77 b/w illustrations in the text. Attractively (and very sturdily) bound in contemporary red quarter morocco over glazed red boards, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, all original wrappers bound in (sic!) -- Ad 2: 183 pp. With 43 illustrations in the text. Original publisher's orange cloth. Item #3081
Original edition. B.H. Breslauer copy of the justly famous catalogue of the vast collection of ornamental books and prints of the Kunstbibliothek Berlin, at one time the most comprehensive in existence in the field of decorative art and architecture. It comprised printed material from the late 15th to the early 19th century. The collection was based upon that of Hippolyte Destailleur, the great connoisseur, which was acquired in 1879, to which was added the extraordinary holdings of the Kunstgewerbemuseum and Kupferstichkabinett. The catalogue is a model of its kind, with complete descriptions and plate counts (often missing in reference works that claimed to "succeed" it) of no less than 5,435 items. The collections suffered greivous losses during WWII, but the present catalogue remains of permanent value to bibliographers and art historians alike, as is attested by the facsimile reprints of it, all greatly inferior to ours on account of the shoddy reproductions of the illustrations. Our copy is attractively bound, with all the original wrappers of the first 12 fascicles bound in. This original edition is scarce, having been published in Berlin at the worst possible time in publishing history, namely from 1936-1939.
Ad 2: The books described in this "English Architectural Art" volume were completely lost during WWII, and thus the rebuiding of this collection became a priority for the Kunstbibliothek Berlin, aided with a generous grant from the Volkswagon Foundation. The results are herein and present 119 titles of rare English architectural and topographical books, ranging in date from Dugale's "Monasticon Anglicum" (1661) to Robinson's "Designs for Gate Cottages" (1837), all very capably described.