Baltimore: Wm. Minifie & Co., 1849. 127pp. plus fifty-six steel-engraved plates (including frontispiece). Modern half calf and marbled boards. Internally crisp and clean. A very good copy. Item #WRCAM19939
An early American architectural manual, illustrated with fine steel engravings. Minifie, an architect, teacher, and bookseller, issued this work for the benefit of his drawing students at the Central High School of Baltimore. He had originally planned a cheap production with illustrations on wood, but abandoned that medium for want of precision and neatness, opting instead for high quality steel engravings. Minifie went on to become the curator of the Maryland Academy of Sciences, and professor of drawing at the Maryland Institute school of art. This was his first book. There were apparently two states of this first edition, one consisting of 156 pages and forty-eight plates, and another with 127 pages and fifty- six plates (as in the present copy). The NUC locates only three copies of the present issue (DLC, PPC, MH) and two copies of the issue with forty-eight plates (DLC, PP). This book went through at least ten editions before the turn of the century. APPLETON'S CYCLOPÆDIA IV, p.336.