The British Architect; or, the Builder's Treasury of Staircases

Written and designed by Abraham Swan British
Etcher John Norman American, born England
Publisher Robert Bell American

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.

The British Architect; or, the Builder's Treasury of Staircases, Written and designed by Abraham Swan (British, active 1745–68), Book with etched Illustrations

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