RIDDELL, John. Architectural Designs for Model Country Residences. Accompanied by general descriptions and estimates. Prepared expressly for persons who contemplate building, and artisans throughout the United States.  ff. Illustrated with 20 full-page colour lithograph plates (illustrating 22 country houses) each accompanied by a full-page plan. Oblong folio, 370 x 445 mm, bound in original brown cloth. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1864.
Rare American architectural work, illustrated with chromolithographs which must be seen to be fully appreciated. "The successful architect John Riddell is best remembered for his Architectural Designs for Model Country Residences, a book written to encourage prospective clients that -- ironically -- remains his chief monument. Illustrated with twenty lithographs in full colour, Architectural Designs is one of the handsomest American books of architecture published in the nineteenth century. Most of the designs are in the Italianate style, all are drawn to a large scale of one quarter of an inch to a foot, and colored in suitable tints, which adds much to the appearance of the rural residence" (Roger Moss, Philadelphia Architects and Buildings).
The twenty chromolithographs depict front elevations for villas, cottages, and mansions, each with a black and white floor plan, along with letterpress descriptions and building instructions (including price estimates for the completed building). Riddell's designs reflect primarily Italian and Gothic styles, with hints of Greek Revival. The homes depicted by Riddell advocated the use of cast ironwork on porches (for columns) and other decoration, and frequently employed towers and belvederes in his Italian Villa and Italianate plans.
Included in the volume is a list of his clients and locations of many of the buildings he had designed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A curious feature of the lithographs may be seen in the curtains: in each window there are two different colours of curtains. The lithography was executed in Philadelphia by T. Sinclair.
The work first appeared in 1861; the sheets were reissued in 1864 (as here) and 1867. Fine copies such as this one are scarce: the only two copies that have sold at auction since 1978 were in horrible condition. Spine worn but sound, some minor foxing on a few pages, but not detracting from the overall aesthetic of the book.
Hitchcock 1004. Not in Bennett or McGrath.
Item nr. 141465