The British Architect; or, the Builder's Treasury of Staircases
Written and designed by Abraham Swan (British, active 1745–68)
John Norman (American, born England ca. 1748–1817 Boston)
Robert Bell (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Book with etched Illustrations
16 3/4 x 10 1/16 in. (42.5 x 25.5 cm)
page: 16 1/8 x 9 1/4 in. (41 x 23.5 cm)
Books, Ornament & Architecture
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1943
Not on view
On December 5, 1774, John Norman, an engraver recently arrived in Philadelphia from London, advertised Proposals for Printing by Subscription, the American edition of Swan's British Architect. Published by Robert Bell, the city's leading printer and bookseller. The volume was available the following June and was the first architectural book printed in America. It faithfully copied Abraham Swan's British Architect, first published in London in 1745, and contains a title page, list of subscribers, twenty pages of text, and sixty folio plates whose images reverse those of the English edition, all but one etched by Norman.
Vendor: E. Weyhe (New York, NY)
Hitchcock 1248; Stauffer p. 390
Laurence Hall Fowler, Elizabeth Baer The Fowler Architectural Collection of the Johns Hopkins University. 1961, p. 274.
David McNeeley Stauffer, Mantle Fielding, Thomas Hovey Gage American Engravers upon Copper and Steel. 1994, p. 390.