Architectural Drawing as Art

I have several architectural drawings of buildings which are in many ways pieces of art.  They are also pieces of history showing buildings as they were conceived and built.  There are several avenues to research such items.  They can be researched through the subject of the drawing, through the architects, and through the printers.

Stonyhurst College Chapel by Dunn & Hansom architects 1877

Stonyhurst College Chapel by Dunn & Hansom architects 1877

In the case of this lithograph, I could research all three aspects.  But there is one anomaly to this print to which I have yet to find an answer.  This is #StonyhurstCollegeChapel.  As drawn by #ArchibaldDunn and #EdwardHansom architects.  The view is from the Priest’s Quadrangle.

Stonyhurst is a prestigious independent private co-ed Catholic school adhering to Jesuit traditions.  It’s motto Quant Je Puis, “All that I can”.  The school’s emphasis is on prayer and service, in accordance with Jesuit philosophy in the hopes of creating “Men and Women for Others”.

The school’s alumni include three Saints, twelve Beati, seven archbishops, seven Victoria Cross winners, a Peruvian president, a Bolivian president, a New Zealand prime minister, a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence and several writers (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), sportsmen, and politicians.

Dunn and Hansom were among the foremost Catholic architects in the north-east of England during the Victorian era.  Two of their most notable works are: the tower and spire of  St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle and the Church of St Michael in Elswick.

Whiteman and Bass lithographers were a well known and reputable publishing company.

Now to the anomaly I mentioned.  In the lower left corner just above the Whiteman and Bass credit is a small rectangular box.  It contains six letters – a small letter in each corner (D, L, T , E read clockwise from top left) and two larger ones in the middle (A over D).  I do not yet know what the small letters are but the two in the middle are the initials of Albrecht Durer – he lived from 1471-1528.  Why are his initials on this image and what do the small letters mean?  I will continue to research.

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