RICHARDSON, Charles James (1806-1871). Studies from Old English Mansions - Their Furniture Gold & Silver Plate &. Haymarket, London: T. McLean, June 1841-1848
4 volumes. Folio (19 4/8 x 13 inches). 4 tinted lithographed title-pages, one finished by hand, 4 lithographed dedication leaves, 2 double-page tinted lithographs, 126 full-page tinted lithographed plates, some with text, 4 finished by hand, 4 full-page colour printed lithographs (some spotting and staining throughout). Contemporary green moiree cloth, lettered in gilt on the front covers, spines renewed in scarlet morocco.
Provenance: from the library of Rankin & Kellogg, Architects in Philadelphia.
Bound from the original parts, and an interesting record of English country houses and their contents. Richardson was a pupil of Sir John Soane from 1824 to 1830 and was then his assistant until Soane's death in 1837. It subsequently transpired that he liberated a number of original drawings from Soane's collection, which he sold on and gave to other institutions, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum. "He tried unsuccessfully to establish his own academy of architecture; from 1845 to 1852 he was master of the architectural class at the School of Design at Somerset House.
"In 1851 Richardson became surveyor to the fifth earl of Harrington, whose house at 13 Kensington Palace Gardens he designed. This was a curious semi-Tudor mansion which was praised by Harrington for its comfort and convenience. He helped design the houses on the earl's South Kensington estate, principally in Queen's Gate, and the entrance lodge from the estate into Hyde Park. Subsequently he worked for other landowners in the same area. Elsewhere in London he designed houses in Belsize Park, and he also had clients abroad in Denmark, Sweden, and Austria.
"Richardson is chiefly remembered as a pioneer of the Victorian appreciation of Tudor and Elizabethan architecture and as an architectural draughtsman and collector of architectural drawings. He toured England (on at least one occasion in the company of John Britton) sketching historic buildings and from these tours, and his studies of historic architectural drawings, he compiled three of his most famous books: Observations on the Architecture of England during the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and James I (1837), Architectural Remains of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I (1840), and Studies from Old English Mansions (4 vols., 1841). His enthusiasm for the picturesque qualities of Tudor architecture characterizes his Picturesque Designs for Mansions, Villas, Lodges, etc. (1870), which subsequently went through at least four later editions under the title The Englishman's House. He also wrote about the services in domestic buildings, for instance in A Popular Treatise on the Warming and Ventilating of Buildings (1837), and worked as an architectural draughtsman for the Art Journal" (Campbell Dodgson, rev. Robert Thorne for DNB).