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HADDON, Robert J. - Australian Architecture. A technical manual ..

Title: Australian Architecture. A technical manual ..
Description: Melbourne, Robertson [1908]. Octavo untrimmed in dark green morocco (spine now a dark brown) by Margaret Chapman, lettered in gilt on the spine and blocked in blind on the sides; [6],544pp, 94 plates (one colour). A very good copy. A special presentation copy bound in a credible (despite some typically clunky lettering) craft binding signed 'MC' on the rear dentelle - Margaret Chapman, one of the first professional craft binders in Australia; she established the Craftsman Bindery and won exhibition prizes in 1907 - with on heavy endpapers, a carefully calligraphed inscription from Haddon to Frank Templeman Mew "with the affectionate greetings of his one time pupil ... inscribed in Melbourne in the year 1909". and a mounted photograph of Haddon facing the caption "The author at work in the study at 'Anselm' Caulfield". Haddon served his articles with Mew in London from 1881. Mew's architectural career was brief; born the second son in a family given to brewing for the eldest son and architecture for the rest, he was still young and unknown in the mid eighties when he was called back to brewing, so becoming a rich and successful businessman. For generations this was the first true Australian architecture book. Before this we have some trade and technical literature, some government reports and scattered papers and, recently discovered, a pattern book printed but probably not published in Melbourne in 1885. So Mr Haddon is now moved down to second place. This is a matter of precedence rather than importance as no-one ever saw the pattern book. Despite Haddon's approach (a textbook rather than pattern book), his examples can easily be traced to his own projects - domestic, commercial, churches, hospitals and shearing sheds. His city office in this book, for example, is a close relative to his Fourth Victoria building in Collins Street, Melbourne. His work was modern, very much Arts & Crafts (or Federation if you like) at this period and he argues for a specific response to local conditions and materials and demands a modern, honest use of materials. Not all his designs hark back to English antecedents; the colour plate here shows a city building owing a dramatic debt to Moorish Spain (and some fairytale castle) and his design for the Swinburne College building appears to be part Spanish mission and part Mesopotamian.

Keywords: architecture design c20th Australia building theory binding modernism arts and crafts trades association

Price: AUD 2500.00 = appr. US$ 1729.68 Seller: Richard Neylon, Bookseller
- Book number: 8294