Item #4141 [ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c. Matthias Lock, H. Copland.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.
Among the earliest English Rococo designs, wildly exuberant, being "the forerunner of Chippendale"

[ENGLISH ROCOCO DESIGNS]. A new book of ornaments: consisting of tables, chimnies, sconces, spandles, clock cases, candle stands, chandeliers, girondoles, &c.

London: Robt. Sayer, 1768. Second edition. Folio (341 x 230 mm). Complete with 12 leaves (including title-page). Engraved throughout. Early (original?) drab blue wrappers (a little soiled), bound by Riviere in later red half morocco over comb-marbled boards, comb-marbled pastedowns and endleaves, one or possibly two labels removed from inside front cover leaving a tape residue. Each plate carefully numbered in pencil. In VERY FRESH STATE, WITH FINE IMPRESSIONS OF ALL THE PLATES. Very good. Item #4141

MATTHIAS LOCK WAS THE FIRST ENGLISH DESIGNER TO CAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF THE FRENCH HIGH ROCOCO; HE INSPIRED THOMAS CHIPPENDALE AND WAS LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN HIS MENTOR.

These imaginative and exuberant designs are indicative of Lock's seemingly effortless style. "His scrolls, dragons, flowers, masks, birds and Chinese men are all handled with a zest and freedom rare in the English product, with a strong dash of asymmetry. [...] This evidence of an ability to teach design, combined with Lock's activity as a Rococo designer from the early 1740s, makes him a better candidate than Darly as Chippendale's mentor" (Jervis, p. 302). Our suite of twelve engravings is absolutely complete; it is one of a series of rare but important publications by Lock which presented a distinctly "British" form of Rococo scrollwork and ornament to designers and furniture makers, its influence broad and considerable.

"Matthias Lock (1710-1765) [was] the carver who first introduced the French Rococo to woodworkers in London. During the 1740s he published a half-dozen modest cahiers, or suites, of ornamental designs [...] all in the Rococo taste and executed in a loose, freehand etching manner. In 1752, together with the engraver Henry Copland (1706-1753), he coauthored 'A New Book of Ornaments,' the largest and most ambitious English publication to date. With its chimneypieces, pier glasses, and candlestands, all professionally engraved, it was the forerunner of Chippendale's great folio" (Heckscher 2018, p. 10)

Our 1768 edition is no reprint of the 1752 publication, as is noted by Heckscher (1979) who describes the bibliographic and artistic complexities: "There are considerable variations in the plates found in copies with the 1752 title page, suggesting the book was kept in print over a long period of time, with the title page unchanged but other plates reworked or replaced as required. [...] Sayer republished 'A New Book of Ornaments' on 1 January 1768, the first, or more accurately the earliest dated, of his Lock reprints. The plate for the title page may have been lost; at any rate Sayer used in its stead the single cartouche Lock had made in 1746 [Heckscher no. III; compare his plate 11 and 33]. [...] At first glance the remaining plates appear unchanged; but close inspection of the 1768 V&A copy shows that, in comparison with the original edition, four plates are copies and four others have been extensively reworked."

Clearly further analysis is required: the catalogue of the Redwood Library, which owns a copy of both editions, suggests that leaves 4-5, 7, 9-10, 12 were "originally issued" (sic!) as part of the authors' 1752 "A New Book of Ornaments: with Twelve Leaves. Consisting of Chimneys" (etc.); and that leaves 2-3, 6, 8, 11 were "redrawn" (sic!) after plates in that same work. The Redwood catalogue fails to mention anything about the engraved title-page, which is entirely new to the 1768 edition and is -- in our opinion -- far superior to its predecessor.

Copies located:
1768 edition: Redwood Library (Newport, RI), British Library, V&A;
1752 edition: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Winterthur, Redwood Library, British Library, V&A, Metropolitan Museum of Art (acquired in 1928 from Messrs Bernard Quaritch), Statsbibliothek Berlin.

Our copy formed part of the library of the legendary American furniture connoisseur Howard Reifsnyder and was sold in 1929 at American Art Galleries (24 April, lot 19). Other than our copy, which was later sold in 1981 at Sotheby's London (16 March, lot 430), no copy of either edition of the present work is found in Rare Book Hub, which currently lists more than 13 million records in the Rare Book Transaction database. Subsequently in the library of Edmond Lincoln with his bookplate engraved by Leo Wyatt.

Literature: Morrison Heckscher "Lock and Copland: a Catalogue of the Engraved Ornament" in: Furniture History (no. 15, 1979), cat. no. VII. Ibid., "Chippendale's 'Director': A Manifesto of Furniture Design" (in: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 74:4, Spring 2018, exhibition May 2018 - January 2019). Simon Jervis, Facts on File Dictionary of Design and Designers (1984).

References: Berlin Katalog 1226 and Guimard, p. 518 list only the 1752 edition. Fiske Kimball & Edna Donnell, The Creators of the Chippendale Style (published in 1929 but still of value), p.117, Lewine, p. 321. Rosenthal Catalogue 88, no. 275. Guimard (p. 518) lists only Lock's "New Drawing Book of Ornaments, Shields" (etc.).

Cataloguer's note: on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website there are (inexplicably) three images of the same plate (no. 10) from the 1752 edition, plus an image of another plate (unnumbered, but no. 7) which looks to us as if it was pressed down on a scanner beneath two pieces of wood. It is this unfortunate image that is now on Wikimedia Commons.

Price: $12,500.00

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