Desseins de developemens d'assemblages de differens ouvrages de menuiserie. Jean-Baptiste Alexandre LE BLOND.
Desseins de developemens d'assemblages de differens ouvrages de menuiserie.
Desseins de developemens d'assemblages de differens ouvrages de menuiserie.
The Construction of Ecclesiastical Interiors in Eighteenth-Century France
Printed by the author and architect – No US copy
A Paris, Chez Le Blond, ruë S. Jean de Beauvais, vis à vis le College du Droit, 1716.

Desseins de developemens d'assemblages de differens ouvrages de menuiserie.

Folio (30.5 x 40.5 cms.): 3 leaves of text (ie. 5 pp.) and 8 plates, engraved by Le Blond (numbered 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 14). Plates 9 and 12 are folding. Unbound in a bespoke folder. Paper generally toned; minor tears and wear to outer margins; some reinforcement at several folds; small repairs just inside platemark but not into image of several engravings, final leaf with a bit of creasing and light soiling. A large genuine copy in a bespoke folder.

A remarkable survival. The exceedingly rare 2nd French edition (2 copies known) of this illustrated builder’s manual providing step by step instructions for the assembly of ecclesiastical built-in architectural components for interior church spaces by the French architect, garden designer, and engraver Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond (1679-1719).  The work is divided into four installation projects: for an elaborate gothic-style figural pulpit podium, the paneling of the choir, the paneling of the interior walls with recessed storage cabinets and the main double-door principal entrance to the church. For each installation, Le Blond illustrates and identifies the composite pieces with facing text and includes a picture of an assembled example from the Churches of Saint Eustache and Coeur des Chartreux (both in Paris). Like many instructional works of this nature, few have survived their contemporary use.

Le Blond was Architect to the Sun King Louis XIV and to Peter the Great of Russia. An architectural theorist, garden designer (pupil of the eminent André Le Nôtre), and engraver, he edited and illustrated the second and third editions of Augustin-Charles d'Aviler's Cours d'architecture de Vignole. In 1716, he moved to Russia at the invitation of Peter the Great, where he was put in charge of all the architects working on Peter's ambitious city project on the Neva River. In the three years that Le Blond spent in Russia, he worked on numerous other projects as well, including establishing nurseries and workshops, designing water works for Peter's residence at Peterhof, oil lanterns for illuminating the city, and the palace of Count Apraksin (considered for a long time one of the most beautiful buildings in the city). Despite his untimely death from smallpox in 1719, Le Blond continued to exercise his influence on St. Petersburg for centuries: in 2003, a formal garden at Strelna was finally built after Le Blond's original design.

The first edition of the Desseins was published at Paris in 1703.  The present second edition which has the same collation followed in 1716.  A bi-lingual French-German edition was published at Augsburg in 1710. All editions are rare. OCLC does not locate any US copies for any of the 3 editions of this work. 

*cf. Berlin Katalog 1249 (1703 edition). Medvedkova, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, Architecte (1679–1719) (2007). 

Price: $4,850.00