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A Treatise of the Five Orders of Columns In Architecture, Viz. Toscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. Wherein The Proportions and Characters of the Members Of their several Pedestals, Columns and Entablatures, Are distinctly consider'd, with respect to the Practice of the Antients and Moderns. Also A most Natural, Easie and Practicable Method laid down, for determining the most minute Part in all the Orders, without a Fraction. To which is Annex'd, A Discourse concerning Pilasters: And Of Several Abuses introduc'd into Architecture. Engraven on Six Folio Plates of the several Orders, adorn'd with Twenty-Four Borders, as many Initial Letters, and a like number of Tail-Pieces, by John Sturt. Written in French by Claude Perrault, Of the Royal Academy of Paris, Author of ye Celebrated Comment On Vitruvius. Made English by John James of Greenwich.

Claude Perrault

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Ordonnance des cinq especes de colonnes., English., James., 1708.]

Variant Title

Ordonance of the Five Kinds of Columns, After the Method of the Ancients


London:: Printed by Benj. Motte,, MDCCVIII., Sold by John Sturt in Golden-Lion-Court in Aldersgate Street.

Physical Description

[40], xxi, [3], 131, [5] p., add. engr. t.-pl., engr. t.-pl., engr. dedic., engr. list of Subscribers, 6, [1] pl.: illus.; 360 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Plate I is included in the pagination, serving as pages 43, 44. The unnumbered plate is inscribed, 'To face Page 92'; it is printed from two coppers. The etched list of Subscribers is sometimes bound in after the dedication.

ESTC describes copies having [6], xxi, [1], 131, [5] p.and an unspecified number of plates.


[Add. engr. t.-pl., engr. t.-pl., engr. dedic. by translator, dedic. by Perrault] - The Preface - A Table of the Chapters - Subscribers [engr. dble. pl.] - [Text:] The Ordonance of the Five Kinds of Columns - Errata - Books and Plates engraven and sold by John Sturt, in Golden-Lion-Court, in Aldersgate-Street. Advertisement.

Responsibility Note

None of Sturt's plates or illustrations is signed.

The translation retains Perrault's dedication to Colbert, and adds the translator's dedication to Thomas, Earl of Pembroke.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 3 (1999), no. 2498, p.1430-1; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, II (1998), 56; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 700; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), 248.

For studies of Claude Perrault see the note on the 1722 edition of this work.
ESTC, T114390

Summary Note

Perrault's book had originally been published in Paris in 1683. This translation and its second edition (1722) were the only other editions published before the twentieth century.


A new English translation of the Ordonnance by I. K. McEwen was published in 1993 (Santa Barbara: Getty Center).


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

Contemporary calf, upper and lower covers decorated in blind with rectangular panels; rebacked in 20th century, gilt-decorated spine lettered 'R.A.', brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Perrault's Vitruvius - 1708'.


Architecture - Architectural orders - Theory
Treatises - France - 17th century
Treatises - Translations into English - Translations from French - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


John James, translator
John Sturt, bookseller
Benjamin Motte, printer