View Full Version : 3 Books on Victorian Architecture

04-16-2008, 06:40 PM
This morning I received two books on Victorian architecture and both are fantastic. The first book:

Geo. E. Woodward -
Victorian City and Country Houses
plans and details

Dover Publications INC.
New York

It has a wealth of excellent drawings, with many elevations and floor plans. It also has a abundance of architectural details for cornices, rosettes, finials, window surrounds, roof crestings, fire place mantels, details for iron work, and these are all scale drawings. If you have an interest in Victorian architecture I highly recommend making this an addition to your library.

The second book:

Victorian Architectural Details -
Designs for Over 700 Stairs, Mantels, Doors, Windows, Cornices, Porches, and Other Decorative Elements
A.J. Bicknell & Company

Dover Publications INC.
New York

This book is exactly what you would expect from the title. There is lots of stuff here to inspire you and keep you busy. The style is very Second Empire with plenty of Mansard roofs and Dormer windows. Many of the details however would fit well on a Queen Ann style victorian home. My one complaint about the book is a small one... 10% to be precise, because that is the amount that they reduced the original plates by :( Other than that however it is a fantastic book.

Another book I can recommend, featuring the architecture of A.J. Bicknell which I have had for some time:

Bicknell's Victorian Buildings
Floor Plans and Elevations for 45
Houses and Other Structures
A.J.Bicknell & CO.

Dover Publications INC.
New York

Again another great book by Dover with tons of original drawings from the 1800's. This would go well with "Victorian Architectural Details" and I would recommend buying them both at the same time. Again my one complaint about reducing the originals by 10%. Still a great book to have on your shelf as reference material and a great source of inspiration.

I'm still looking for a book focusing on the Queen Ann style victorians of San Francisco, and if you have any recommendations please let me know.

04-17-2008, 05:41 AM
Thanks for the recommedations -- I'll have to look into these...

04-17-2008, 06:36 PM
I see my local library carries the second book. Does it look like the illustrations/images could be photographed (I wouldn't want to use a scanner and possibly ruin the binding) to use as a reference?

Actually, I wonder if it's even legal to do that -- so many "gray areas".

04-17-2008, 07:55 PM
According to the bibliographical note pg.ii these drawings were first pushed by A.J. Bicknell & CO. in 1873 under the title "Detail Cottage and Constructive Architecture"

I believe generally anything prior to 1922 is public domain but there may be some exceptions. I have looked through the book and can not find a copyright anywhere, but you should check with your local librarian just to be sure.

Yes they would photograph very well being line drawings, but the book is very inexpensive if you buy it used on Amazon. It's definitely worth have so I would be inclined to pay for a copy.


04-17-2008, 08:15 PM
Sorry, that would be January 1st. 1923. for public domain and there are exceptions if it is a collection but the individual images should be public domain. Also there fair use exemptions. Just don't rely on my memory... after all I don't :D

04-18-2008, 09:52 AM
Thanks -- I think it would be okay since I wouldn't be posting any of the images -- just for my own reference as a guide for modeling.

Joker II
04-18-2008, 10:23 AM
THanks for those links, I'm planning of modding some buildings into an upcoming game called Empire: Total War which is related towards the Napoleonic era, these could be very usefull :thumbsup:

04-18-2008, 12:06 PM
Thanks -- I think it would be okay since I wouldn't be posting any of the images -- just for my own reference as a guide for modeling.

I want to stop short of giving legal advice, but my I believe when something is considered to be in the public domain you are in within your rights to do so. What you can't do is republish the book as a collection since the "collection" is something new.

04-18-2008, 06:49 PM
Yes, I understand. I look at it like checking out a book at the library and sketching one or more of the illustrations myself so I could later use it for a model. But I'll use my camera instead of a pencil.