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A Treatise On The Decorative Part Of Civil Architecture. Illustrated By Fifty Original, and Three Additional Plates, Engraved by Old Rooker, Old Fourdrinier, Charles Grignion, and other eminent Hands. - By Sir William Chambers, K. P. S. Surveyor General of His Majesty's Works; Treasurer, and Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London; also of those of Paris, and Florence. FRS. FAS. FSSS. - The Third Edition, considerably augmented.

Sir William Chambers RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Treatise on civil architecture., 1791.]

Variant Title

Chambers's Civil Architect.


London;: Printed By Joseph Smeeton, In St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross. Sold By T. Cadell, Bookseller and Printer to the Royal Academy, Strand; I. and J. Taylor, Holborn; J. Walter, Charing Cross; R. Robson, New Bond Street; and R. Sayer, Fleet Street., M.DCC.XCI.

Physical Description

[6], 137, [1] p., [53] pl.; 541 mm. (Folio.)


[T.p., dedic.] - Contents - Preface - [Text, with 34 plates] - Directions to the Binder - [19 plates].

Responsibility Note

Fifty plates are signed by the designer W. Chambers (41 pl.), or draughtsmen I. Gandon (8 pl.), J.B. Chipriani (1 pl.). Fifty-one plates are signed by the engravers F. Patton (16 pl.), P. Fourdrinier (12 pl.), E. Rooker (7 pl.), P. Mazel (5 pl.), C. Grignion (4 pl.), T. Miller (4 pl.), I. Fougeron (1 pl.) and Bigby (i.e. P. Begbie?) (2 pl.).

This edition is dedicated by William Chambers to the King (George III).


ESTC, T174022
Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), 600.
E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 125.
J. Archer, Literature of British domestic architecture (1985), 40.3.
Sir William Chambers archiect to George III, ed. J. Harris and M. Snodin (1996).


A microfilm version was published in 2004 (Woodbridge, Conn.: Primary Source Microfilm [imprint of Gale Group]).


According to the RAA Library Catalogue of 1802 a copy was acquired by the Academy before 1802; but the present copy in the Academy's Library was presented by Sir Edwin Cooper in 1961.

Copy Note

Imperfect; lacking third preliminary leaf ('Contents').

Binding Note

20th-century half calf, marbled-paper boards; red morocco spine-label, lettered, 'Chambers's Civil Architect.', and gilt-stamped 'R. A.'.


Architecture - Theory
Architecture, British - Great Britain - 18th century
Treatises - Manuals - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Sir William Chambers RA, draughtsman
James Gandon, draughtsman
Giovanni Battista Cipriani RA, draughtsman
Francis Patton, engraver
Paul Fourdrinier, engraver
Edward Rooker, engraver
Peter Mazell, engraver
Charles Grignion, engraver
Tobias Miller, engraver
Ignace Fougeron, engraver
Bigby, engraver
Patrick Begbie, engraver
George III King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Joseph Smeeton, printer
Thomas Cadell the elder, bookseller
Isaac Taylor the elder, bookseller
Josiah Taylor, bookseller
John Walter, bookseller
R. Robson, bookseller
Robert Sayer, bookseller
Royal Academy of Arts (London), Treasurer (1768-1796: Chambers)