London: Day & Sons, lithographers to the Queen, 1852.
'It has been well remarked, by no less a man than Locke, "that the mechanism of the arts contains more true philosophy than the systems of philosophers : " and in that observation he has perhaps only echoed the great dogma of Lord Bacon, “that the history of the mechanical arts is the most important branch of true philosophy." These two splendid apophthegms, pregnant as they are with meaning, had been adopted with remarkable felicity by the French Encyclopédists, as mottoes to that portion of their great work which treats of the industrial arts. The English are indebted for the proud position they at present occupy in the world of manufacture, and the reputation they have gained for the intrinsic excellence of their productions, to their deep and preserving recognition of the absolute utilitarian importance of the studies recommended by these and other great economists ; it is, however, only very recently that they commenced the endeavour to superadd to their technical perfection some little of the refining influence of grace, and to investigate, in earnest spirit, those fundamental principles which should govern and modify the specific nature and form of the desired alliance of use and beauty. One of the most important of those general laws which have been given to us, as the result of such inquiries, is that of the imperative necessity of adopting, as the basis of the design of objects executed in any material which nature offers to our use, a system of ornamentation strictly in harmony with the structure, chemical and mechanical, of the finished article –– with the value of the materials of which it is composed –– an association of the idea connected with them, and with its purpose and probable destination. The systems of decorative treatment of two materials, similar in some essential qualities, but diverse in others, should differ in the exact ratio of those discrepancies, and from the continued and thoughtful observance of these objective conditions of nature, a scale of appropriate common-sense design would be in time established, within the limits of which the artist might exercise his subjective power without fear of extravagance.'.
Large folio, 500 mm x 350 mm, 50 full-page chromolithographed and tinted plates, a very good copy.