Roger Gaskell Rare Books

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PERSPECTIVE DRAWING AND BOYLE’S RECIPE FOR VARNISH.

ART OF DRAWING

The art of drawing in perspective : wherein the doctrine of perspective is clearly and concisely treated of, upon geometrical principles; and a mechanical method of perspective and designing invented, for the benefit of such as are strangers to mathematics. Illustrated with variety of copper plate figures. To which are annexed, the art of painting upon glass, and drawing in crayons; with directions for making them after the French and Italian manner: also the art of etching, and that of Japanning upon wood, or any metal, so as to imitate china; with instructions for making black or gilt Japan-ware, both beautiful and light; and for making the hardest and most transparent varnishes; and, to which is added, a method of casting amber in any form whatever

London: printed for G. Keith, at the Bible and Crown, in Gracechurch-Street; and J. Robinson, at the Globe and Bible, at Dockhead, 1755
12mo: π2 B–G8,4 H8 I2, 48 leaves, pp. iv 92.
Folding engraved plate signed ‘T. Bowen sc’ facing titlepage.
Condition: 160 x 98mm.
Binding: Stab sewn as issued in grey-brown wrappers.
First edition, the text is similar, but not the same, as The method of learning to draw in perspective made easy and fully explained (1732); there were a number of later editions.
Bibliography: ESTC T153183.
£450

A rare drawing manual including, in addition to drawing itself, instructions for varnishing, gilding and silvering. In the related The method of learning to draw in perspective (1732), which contains many of the same recipes, but differently worded, the anonymous author claims to have drawn on manuscripts by Robert Boyle, passed to him by a relation. In another book also purporting to use the Boyle manuscripts, The art of drawing and painting in water-colours (1731), this relation is identified as Lord Carleton. In the present work, Boyle is cited as the source for a ‘Method of making White or Amber-Varnish’ (pp. 72–74) and a section at the end on making artificial amber with flies and small animals in it (p. 92). At the foot of the title, after the price (1s) there is an advertisement for The art of drawing and painting in water-colours, also 1s and ‘Just published’. Fulton Bibliography of Robert Boyle (2nd ed. 1961, 372 and 373) suggests that the source for the information in both books was not in fact a manuscript but Boyle’s Experiments and considerations touching colours (1664).
ESTC locates copies at the British Library, Bodleian; Huntington, Met and Yale.