Paris, Didot le Jeune, Delalain, 1780.
2 parts in 2 volumes 12mo [164 x 94 mm] of: I/ 1 frontispiece, vi pages, 512 pp., 120 pp.; II/ (1) l., 386 pp., xii pp., 167 pp. Green morocco, wide dentelle with special small tools including doves pecking at each other, spines ribbed and decorated, red morocco lettering pieces, inner border, doublures and endleaves in pink silk, gilt edges. Rich contemporary binding with dentelle by Derome le Jeune.
Partly original edition enlarged with the Traité de la culture des Pêchers.
A precious copy illustrated with the title vignette of the first volume delicately hand-colored at the time.
Charles-Jean de Combles is a French writer and agronomist born in Lyons in 1735. He published several treatises on his favorite hobby which he developed in Naples, gardening.
When Combles took up his pen, it was already many years ago, as he said himself, that he made “gardening the amusement of his leisure and the most solid occupation of his life”. He liked this kind of work; he wanted to know it thoroughly. Left at first to a routine and presumptuous gardener, as ignorant people usually are, de Combles soon realized that he had become more skillful than the one whose lessons he had the good-heartedness to receive. The first fruit of the knowledge he had acquired in the various parts of gardening was the Traité sur la culture des pêchers (1745, 12mo), which he wrote out of indulgence and at the recommendation of a person he designated as being of the highest consideration. This treatise having passed in manuscript by several hands, and having obtained the approval of the connoisseurs, the author decided to deliver it to the printing. “If the success of this piece, he said, can meet my intention, I will give successively on the cultivation of other fruits, and on all other parts of gardening.”
Unfortunately, the Traité sur la culture des pêchers was initially received rather coldly; garden lovers were still few in number. However, the 2nd edition was published in 1750, revised, corrected and enlarged; the 3rd edition was published in 1770; the 4th in 1802; the 5th in 1822. This is the first treatise to be published on this important part of our gardening, since Roger Schabol’s Observations on Montreuil and peach trees were not printed until 1755. In 1749, de Combles delivered to the public the fruit of his long observations and enlightened practice, his École du jardin potager, ou l’Art de cultiver toutes les plantes potagères, 2 vols. 12mo. It is the most famous and the most sought-after of his works: a very useful production, which has not ceased to be read with advantage.
Magnificent copy covered with green morocco by Derome le Jeune decorated with a sumptuous dentelle with birds pecking.
From the library of the Comtesse de Behague and the Marquis de Ganay.