LABORDE, Alexandre de. Description des nouveaux jardins de la France et de ses anciens chateaux mêlée d’observations sur la vie de la campagne et la composition des jardins. Description of the modern gardens… Beschreibung der neven Gärten…


First edition of the most beautiful book on the gardens of France under the First French Empire

First edition illustrated with 130 copper-engravings in first issue after the drawings of the painter Constant Bourgeois.

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SKU: LCS-17494 Categories: ,

Paris, Delance, 1808-1815.

Tall folio [483 x 343 mm] of (1) half-title, (1) title, (1) frontispiece, 226 pp., 3 maps out of pagination, 130 engravings numbered from 1 to 122 and from A to H, including 58 full-page and 8 with movable parts, (1) l. of technical figures, some misnumbering of some plates. Bound in red half-morocco, decorated ribbed spine. Contemporary binding.

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First edition of the most beautiful book of the time on the gardens of France under the Empire, published on Alexandre Laborde’s initiative.
BAL, n° 1709 – Berlin Kat., n° 3479 ; Vicaire, IV, 745.

The text is printed in French, in English and in German.

It is illustrated in first issue with 130 copper-engravings after the drawings of the painter Constant Bourgeois including 58 full-page, representing some of these lovely houses of the center of France, under the Empire: Ermenonville, Malmaison, Méreville, Brunehaut, Tracy, Raincy, the Petit Trianon, Maupertuis, the ermitage in Versailles, Rambouillet

Mostly illustrated with charming sceneries of hunting or shooting, strolling in charming company, boat rides, gardening or children’s games, they are a happy evocation of the aristocratic life of that time, with a background of beautiful gardens and elegant parks.

On top of the 3 maps, the edition also contains 8 interesting engravings on 2 plates, each composed of 2 overlapping elements bound by a strip and featuring the suggested improvements by contemporary landscapers to modernize or simplify the façade or the too classical perspective of a castle or a park:

« Middle-class house changed into an agreeable house »,
« Ancient manor changed into an elegant castle… »

A beautiful copy, wide-margined and particularly fresh, which system figures are all complete of their movable parts, preserved in a fine contemporary binding.
On the spine of the volume, three wide gilt fleurons represent alternatively picturesque landscapes: a pyramid, a bowl in the antique style and a pagoda.

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LABORDE, Alexandre de.