"RED BOOK" for "Sunning Hill, Berkshire the Seat of Ias [James] Sibbald Esqr."

Lot Number 38
Author REPTON, Humphry (1752-1818).
Title "RED BOOK" for "Sunning Hill, Berkshire the Seat of Ias [James] Sibbald Esqr."
Year Published 1790
Place Printed
Printed By
Description REPTON, Humphry (1752-1818). "RED BOOK" for "Sunning Hill, Berkshire the Seat of Ias [James] Sibbald Esqr." 1790 Oblong 4o (212 x 287 mm). Autograph manuscript on paper comprising title within blue ink-ruled border signed and dated "H. Repton," 20 February 1790; manuscript introduction; five leaves manuscript text; ONE PEN-AND-INK AND WATERCOLOR MAP OF THE PROPERTY AND TWO WATERCOLOR VIEWS, the views each with overslips signed and dated "H. Repton Feb. 7, 1790." (Title and introductory leaf loose, some light soiling.) Original black half morocco, titled "Sunning Hill Berkshire" in gilt on front cover; the author's trade card engraved by T. Medland on pastedown (joints cracked, some wear at extremities); cloth folding case.
Comments In his introduction, Repton notes that the character of the grounds of Sunning Hill "is evidently that of an elegant Ferme-ornee, where Nature has been very bountiful in diversified scenery, while great judgment of taste seem to have directed the hand of Art in availing itself of its natural beauties." Repton's plan is principally focused on a valley of land where Sibbald wanted to create a lake, the design of which is shown first in Repton's map of the grounds and then described fully in his text and accompanying plans. Repton offers three different ways of producing the water, preferring a plan that reduces the amount of digging to save on the expense and because "altho' it may at first appear too artificial, is by no means unnatural; for nothing is more common than to see rivers in hilly countrys check'd in their course by the occasional wiers or ledges across them; yet as one great advantage from a Sheet of water is the pleasure it affords in a boat." Repton's final section concerns the house which he remarks is "inconveniently situated with respect both to the Kitchen Garden & Farming Buildings." He proposes building another house on the knoll at the top of the valley. The drawing with overslip showing the proposed design of the lake, with the house positioned looking down on it, has Repton's manuscript note beneath: "This improvement was carried into effect and the new house built on the site of the old house." Repton wrote of Sunning Hill in Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening: "a large piece of water, which consists of a lake with a river flowing into it, is nearly complete, and will be one of the most pleasing objects that can be produced by art." Another Red Book of Sunning Hill that Repton had produced a month before the present is described in Humphry Repton Landscape Gardener 1752-1818, ed. George Carter, Patrick Goode and Kedrun Laurie, London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1983, p.148 (noting that the house was demolished in 1947). See Dorothy Stroud, Humphry Repton, London, 1962, pp. 49-50.
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Provenance
Estimated Price USD 30,000.00 - 50,000.00
Actual Price USD 104,500.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Christies
Website http://www.christies.com
Auction Name Important Printed Books and Americana from The Albert H. Small Collection
Sale Number #2655
Auction Date May 18, 2012 - May 18, 2012
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