London: Printed for Samuel Crouch at the Corner Shop of Pope's Head Ally, 1676. First Edition. Early marbled sheepskin binding, subtle repairs to the spine. Octavo (pages 89 x 140 mm), collates: , 82,  pages: missing the initial license leaf (A1), otherwise complete. Bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection on the front pastedown; early ownership signatures to the front endpaper. Internally a neat and pleasing copy, with some offsetting to preliminary and rear pages; overall text block is clean and tight. With 4 appearances in the modern auction record and ESTC listing only 5 copies at institutions worldwide, this is truly a rare piece.
"John Smith's The Art of Painting may perhaps lay claim to being the first painting manual in the English language" (Baty). A clockmaker by trade, Smith's book was designed in particular to assist in the decoration of clock and sundial faces. It also includes an important section on the restoration of oil paintings. Focused on the application of oil paints in a variety of circumstances, Smith also informs the reader that these "Oyl Colours [function] not only on SunDials but also all manner of Timber Work, whether Posts, Pales, Pallisadoes, Gates, Doors, Windows, Wainscotting, Border Boards for gardens or whatever else." Thus, the appeal of Smith's book was that it provided details on the creation of paint and paint colors to a wide variety of artisans, whose work needed to survive use and the elements.
ESTC R37566. (Item #2330)