EVELYN’S COMPLEAT GARD’NER

The compleat Gard’ner; or, Directions for Cultivating and right Ordering of Fruit-Gardens and Kitchen-Gardens, with divers Reflections on several Parts of Husbandry, in six Books … to which is added, his Treatise of Orange-Trees, with the Raising of Melons, omitted in the French Editions … illustrated with Copper Plates.

London, for Matthew Gillyflower and James Partridge, 1693.

Folio, pp. [44], 106, [8 (foliated ‘107-110’)], 111-114, [8 (ff. ‘115-118’, f. 118 misnumbered ‘116’)], 119-184. [4], 204, [4], 4, 80, with frontispiece portrait and 11 copper-engraved plates (of which 2 double-page); title printed in red and black, 8 large copper-engraved head-pieces, 3 copper-engraved illustrations printed in text and 3 woodcut diagrams; a small paperflaw to [a]2 (with loss of 2 characters, not affecting legibility), inconsequential wormtrack to gutter of final 40 ff.; an excellent, bright copy in contemporary calf, sympathetically rebacked with gilt red morocco lettering-piece, edges speckled red, endpapers renewed.

£2500

Approximately:
US $3333€2955

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The compleat Gard’ner; or, Directions for Cultivating and right Ordering of Fruit-Gardens and Kitchen-Gardens, with divers Reflections on several Parts of Husbandry, in six Books … to which is added, his Treatise of Orange-Trees, with the Raising of Melons, omitted in the French Editions … illustrated with Copper Plates.

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First edition in English, translated and expanded by John Evelyn, of the principal work of the Chief Director of Louis XIV’s gardens, Jean de la Quintinie, first published three years previously as Instructions pour les jardins fruitiers et potagers.

Evelyn’s translation expands on the French edition, with the addition of Quintinie’s Treatise of Orange Trees and Some Directions concerning the Ordering of Melons, translated from a manuscript sent to Evelyn after Quintinie’s visit to Sayes Court some thirty years previously; the texts are printed together as ‘a large folio, almost the last of Evelyn’s major publications’ (Keynes). The large plates show the kitchen garden at Versailles, methods of pruning and grafting, and gardening tools, in addition to which ‘A fine engraved portrait of the author was prefixed and the text was embellished with a charming series of small copper plates illustrating various garden activities of the period’ (ibid.).

The work was never reprinted in full, though it was abridged for an octavo edition of 1699, without reference to Evelyn and with his additions removed.

Henrey 218; Keynes, Evelyn 103; Wing L431; Pritzel 5075; see Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800 I, p. 189, and Keynes, John Evelyn (1968), pp. 224-226.

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