First illustrated edition of the first comprehensive French account on agronomy, including gardening and winemaking, 1651


Olivier de Serres: Le Theatre d’Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs. With 1 folded plate, 3 more text illustrations and 12 full-paged botanical garden parterres, all executed as woodcuts. Geneva, 1651

Olivier de Serres: Le Theatre d'Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs. Où est représenté tout ce qui est requis & necessaire pour bien Dresser, Gouverner, Enrichir & Embellir la maison rustique. Derniere edition, Renueuë & Augmentee par l'Autheur. With 1 folded plate and 3 more text illustrations depicting physic gardens, 12 full-paged botanical garden parterres (mostly from the Tuilleries) and 1 vignette with a garden panorama view on title page, all executed as woodcuts. Geneva: Samuel Chouët, 1651.

Gr.-8vo. [32], 878, [16 (index)] pages. Woodcut and letterpress, bound with five raised bands over cardboard in 18th ct. leather, with gilt ornamental title on spine and coloured top edge.

Scarce 1651 Geneva imprint of the first illustrated edition of the „premier grand traité français d'agronomie“ (text), on agronomy, gardening and winemaking.

Content, Authors: Famous treatise illustrating not only agricultural practice in the strict sense, but also related subjects such as gardening, hunting, irrigation techniques, gastronomy, pharmacopeia, silk production, and moreover with an entire generous chapter devoted to vine cultivation and winemaking. The first edition of this work was published in Paris in 1600, present one of the imprints of the 3rd edition, first published in 1605.

Provenance: Rudolph Graf von Abensperg-Traun (1872-1954), member of one of the oldest Austrian noble families, with his engraved pictorial ex-libris incorporating the family's coat of arms. Until today the
Abensperg-Trauns run an extensive agricultural, forestry, hunting and fishing business, among others on their estate near Petronell, Lower Austria.

Condition: Binding with skilfull restoration of former with at top edge of spine, edges and corners slightly bumped, boards occasionally worn and stained, end papers with some foxing, some of the index pages at the end finger-stained. Sheets T-U8 wronly bound, therefore pages 292-306 wrongly paginated, pages 706 and 707 wrongly numbered "707" and "708". Otherwise well preserved, the splendid woodcut illustrations with the garden parterres and the plate depicting the physic garden in very good condition.

Reference: Vicaire, G. Bibliographie gastronomique (1890 edition), column 788 and 789 (states the present edition as imprint of the 3rd edition from 1605).