SHERATON’S CLASSIC WORK ON FURNITURE DESIGN, RARE 1791 FIRST EDITION, SPLENDIDLY ILLUSTRATED
SHERATON, Thomas. Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book. In Three Parts. BOUND WITH: Appendix to the Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book. BOUND WITH: An Accompaniment… London: T. Bensley, 1791, 1793. Quarto, 19th-century full paneled calf rebacked, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $16,000.
First edition, magnificently illustrated with frontispiece engraving and 66 copper-engraved plates (seven folding). Bound together with the scarce Appendix, containing an additional 33 copper-engraved plates (four folding), and the Accompaniment, with a further 14 plates (eight folding).
Plates include studies of furniture (tables, chaise lounges, beds, secretaries, bookcases, etc.), depictions of Doric and Corinthian columns, numerous perspective studies (including dome construction, cornices, creation and placement of furniture), and a splendid folding plan and layout for an entire room. Sheraton "developed a skill and originality which placed him in the first rank of technical artists…. [He published] a series of manuals of furniture design to which the taste of his countrymen stands deeply indebted…. The central doctrines of all his work and writing are that ornamentation must subserve utility, that the lines of construction, if sound, connote beauty, and that a successful simplicity is harder and more worthy of attainment than the highest development of Louis Quinze superfluity. That his principles were not the outcome of mere vague intuition is evidenced by the admirable treatises on geometry, architecture, and perspective with which he introduces his monumental Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book" (DNB). Bound without general title page dated 1793, but with all three individual title pages. Lewine, 508. Lowndes, 2378.
Plates and text generally quite clean and fine. A bit of wear to corners of contemporary calf covers. An attractive copy, desirable with both the Appendix and Accompaniment.