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Household Furniture And Interior Decoration, Executed From Designs By Thomas Hope.

Thomas Hope

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London.: Printed By T. Bensley, Bolt-Court, Fleet-Street, For Longman, Hurst, Rees, And Orme, Paternoster-Row., 1807.

Physical Description

[4], 53, [1] p., add. engr. t.pl., 60 pl.; 557 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

Some copies (incl. that of the Royal Academy) lack the half-title; some lack the added engraved title-plate.


[Half-t., add. t.pl., t.p.] - Introduction - Explanation; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Neither the added engraved title-plate nor any of the numbered plates carries the signature of draughtsman or engraver; but on p.13 of the Introduction the author names the engravers as Mr Aikin and Mr Dawe (that is Edmund Aikin and George Dawe).

Each carries the imprint of the publishers, Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, and the date (1 May 1807).

The printer's name is repeated in the colophon.

The back pastedown is stamped in green ink, 'Bound By Ex Libris'.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 2 (1995), no. 1547, p.814; J. Archer, The Literature of British Domestic Architecture 1715-1842 (1985), no. 448.1, p.923; Life In England in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860 ... From The Library Of J.R. Abbey A Bibliographical Catalogue (1953; repr. 1972, 1991), no. 24, p.18.

D. Watkin, Thomas Hope 1769-1831 and the neoclassical idea (1968).

Summary Note

This is thought to be the first work in English in which the term 'interior decoration' was used. The text and plates describe furnishings in ancient Greek and Roman style, and some in Egyptian, oriental and French neoclassical styles, most of which had been designed for Hope's own house in Duchess Street, London, where they complemented displays of ancient sculpture and pottery. Hope's approach is sometimes fairly eclectic - plate 21, for example, showing a Chinese vase mounted on a neoclassical stand. The arrangement of his Duchess Street house was consciously intended to be didactic and exemplary. Entrance tickets had first been issued in 1804, to the sixty Royal Academicians.

The book was Hope's most influential work. It was imitated in George Smith's Collection of designs for household furniture (1808) and Richard Brown's The rudiments of drawing cabinet and upholstery furniture (1820). The conclusion of Hope's 'Explanation' (p.51-3) is a 'list of the different works ... which have been of most use to me', which includes Percier and Fontaine's Recueil des décorations intérieurs (1801-).

Copy Note

Imperfect: lacks the half-title.

Binding Note

20th-century half calf, 19th-century marbled-papered boards; spine lettered 'Hope - Household Furniture', 'R.A.' and '1807'.


Furniture - Interior Decoration - Chairs - Tables - Designs - Europe - Great Britain - History - 19th century - Neoclassical - Greek Revival - Egyptian Revival
Pattern books - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century


Thomas Bensley, printer
Edmund Aikin, engraver
George Dawe RA, engraver
Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, publisher
Ex Libris, binder