While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.
Doorway, Combe Abbey
Each print measures approximately 10 1/2 inches by 14 1/4 inches.
For well over a century, Joseph Nash’s Mansions of England in the Olden Time has held its place in the English architectural bookshelf. The sumptuous details of design and engaging images of the mansions’ residents present a glimpse into aristocratic life in the Tudor and Elizabethan periods.
Born to a private schoolmaster, Nash (1809-1878) learned the craft of artist and architectural draftsman from Augustus Charles Pugin (father of the more-famed A.W. Pugin, a key designer in Britain’s Houses of Parliament). Nash accompanied his master to Paris, preparing views of that city. His architectural education combined with a mastery of composition and light values, creating images appealing to architects and art lovers alike. By 1834, he was elected to the Society of Painters in Water Colours. The Builder magazine, one of the most prominent professional papers of its kind, commended Nash as a “master of architectural delineation.” His first major work was Architecture of the Middle Ages, appearing 1838. The four-volume series of Mansions took Nash eleven years to complete as he was diverted by other command engagements, such as sketches of Windsor Castle.
Mansions stands out from other architectural drawings by depicting a wide variety of incidental groups or poses emphasizing the utility of the buildings and their rooms. As architect C. Harrison Townsend wrote in an introduction to a later edition of Mansions, “the accuracy of the appointments and the old furniture with which he clothes empty hall, bare chamber, or deserted garden, make still more actual and vivid his presentment of his architectural subject. We have in Nash's work never an architectural diagram, but always all the information necessary as to architectural detail. The extraordinary accuracy of his draftsmanship can be checked easily in these days of photography, and he invariably comes triumphantly through the test.”
The originally hand-colored lithographed plates in this edition bear dates from 1869 to 1872. Each plate, measuring approximately 10 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches, is printed on strong, smooth creamy paper. These are a delightful addition to the print lover’s collection, both for their architectural interest and their highly decorative portrayal of our ancestors!
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