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Traité De La Coupe Des Pierres, Ou Méthode Facile Et Abrégée, Pour aisément se perfectionner en cette Science. Par J.B. De La Rue, Architecte. Dédié Au Roi.

Jean Baptiste de La Rue

RA Collection: Book

Record number




A Paris, Rue Dauphine,: Chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, Libraire du Roi pour l'Artillerie & le Génie, à l'Image Notre-Dame., M. DCC. LXIV. Avec Approbation Et Privilege Du Roi.

Physical Description

[18], 185, [1] p., add. engr. t.-pl., pl. 1-67, A-F [i.e. 107 pl. on 67 sheets] (31 fold.): illus.; 431 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Many of the numbered and lettered plates are printed on rectos and versos of sheets; many have bis numbers. Thirty-one are double and folding. One has flaps (pl. 33). The title-page vignette is numbered 'Pl 81'.


[Add. engr. t.pl., t.p.] - Extrait des Registres de l'Académie Royale d'Architecture; Privilege Du Roi - Catalogue Des Livres D'Architecture Qui se trouvent chez Charles-Antoine Jombert - [Dedic.] - Preface; Avis Aux Appareilleurs Et Tailleurs De Pierre; Extrait Des Registres de l'Academie Royale d'Architecture - Table Des Parties Et Chapitres - [Text: 1. Des Portes Et Arriere-Voussures; 2. Des Maîtresses Voutes; 3. Des Trompes; 4. Des Descentes Et Aba-Jours; 5. Des Escaliers] - Petit Traité De Stereotomie, Appliqué A L'Usage De La Coupe Des Pierres - Errata; Avertissement.

Responsibility Note

Of the plates most are unsigned; some are signed 'A. Coquart' or 'A.C.'; pl.10 is signed as engraved by A. Coquart and Lucas and written by Delahaye. The added engraved title-plate is signed as designed by Bertin and engraved by Thomassin.

Of the in-text illustrations the title-page vignette is signed as designed by Cochin filius and engraved by F.A. Aveline; headpieces, tailpieces, decorated initials and woodcut diagram (p.3) are unsigned.

The work is dedicated by the author to the King (Louis XV).


RIBA, Early printed books, 2 (1995), no. 1766.

Summary Note

This work was first published in 1728, and another edition (or issue) appeared in 1738 (this latter date is retained on the added engraved title-plate of the present 1764 edition). The plates and engraved ornaments are reprinted from the first edition, with minor alterations; woodcut and typographic ornaments are not repeated. The title-page vignette is new.

It has been suggested that the plates of this book may have influenced the designs for vaults by George Dance the younger and Sir John Soane - especially the form in which a domed vault is supported by four pendentives all forming part of the same sphere.


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, gilt-decorated spine, brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Coupe Des Pierre'.


Stonecutting - Engineering - Techniques - Masonry - Dressed stone - Architecture - Vaults (structural elements) - France - History - 18th century
Manuals - Instructional materials - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - France - 18th century


Charles-Antoine Jombert, publisher
Francois Antoine Aveline, engraver
Louis XV King of France, dedicatee
Nicolas Bertin, draughtsman
Simon Thomassin, engraver
Charles-Nicolas Cochin le jeune, draughtsman
Antoine Coquart, engraver
Claude L. Lucas, engraver
Delahaye, script engraver