Of the Christian Altar and the Buildings which Contain It; With a Preface by the Bishop of London
London: SPCK, 1950. First edition. Modern blue paper boards (8 1/2 inches tall), cloth spine with title in ink. Owner ink-stamp to endpaper, tanning to front and back blank flyleaves. About Fine. Item #1385
"THE GREATEST BRITISH CHURCH ARCHITECT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY"
First edition of Ninian Comper's essay on "the high place given to beauty in the Christian Church"—published with a black-and-white frontispiece of a typically Comper-esque beardless Christ. Usually encountered in paper wrappers, this copy has been rebound in simple hardcover boards with a cloth spine.
Sir Ninian Comper—the serial beautifier of English churches—was one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects. In his later works, Of the Atmosphere of a Church (1947) and Of the Christian Altar (1950), Comper developed the subtle integration of Classical and Gothic styles, an approach he described as "unity by inclusion." Emphasizing the practical considerations of a liturgy-driven architecture, Comper's work focused on the design, restoration and embellishment of churches, ecclesiastical furnishings, stained glass and vestments. Printed in the year Comper was knighted by King George VI, with a brief Preface by William Wand, the Bishop of London ("Wm. Londin:"). noting "the continual astonishment of his friends is aroused by the amazing versatility of this great eccesiologist." When Comper died in 1960 his ashes were interred beneath the windows he designed in Westminster Abbey. See Symondson and Bucknall. Sir Ninian Comper: An Introduction to his Life and Work.