(London: Methuen & Co. 1904). 381 x 235 mm. (15 x 9 1/4"). 8 p.l., 612, 16 pp.
HANDSOME RECENT BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, ELABORATELY GILT AND INLAID, BY BAYNTUN-RIVIERE (stamp-signed on rear doublure), covers with border of gilt rules flanking the subtitle of the work (beginning on the upper cover with "A garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed . . ." and concluding on the lower cover with "together with the right orderinge, planting & preferung of them & their uses & vertues"), each board with a large central panel featuring four widely spaced vertical gilt rules and three horizontal double rows of undulating leaves, giving the effect of a neatly ordered fruit orchard (and looking rather like a vegetal oscilloscope), five of the arches in each row crowned by an inlaid red fruit; raised bands, spine compartments with leafy gilt frames, DARK RED CRUSHED MOROCCO DOUBLURES studded around the edges with 40 small inlaid brown dots (like nails), doublures with a delicate gilt frame featuring daisy cornerpieces and leafy accents, red silk endleaves, top edge gilt. In an excellent felt-lined slipcase with morocco lip. Woodcut headpieces, tailpieces, and initials, author's portrait, illustrated title page depicting the Garden of Eden, three small illustrations in text, and 109 fine full-page woodcut illustrations of flowers, vegetables, and fruits almost certainly by Christopher Switzer, showing nearly 800 plants. Original edition: Henrey 282; Hunt 215; Nissen BBI 1489; Pritzel 6933; STC 19300. A hint of foxing and occasional faint creasing, but a very fine copy, the text clean, fresh, and especially bright, and the imaginative binding pristine.
In a very attractive, animated binding, this is a fine facsimile of the most famous English gardening book of the 17th century, and the most beloved for its personal and endearing style. Based on the contents of the author's own gardens, "Paradisi in Sole" (which translates to "Park in the Sun," forming a pun on Parkinson's name) gives us directions for creating an "Earthly Paradise." In his preface dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria, the author argues that the first gardening experiences of mankind involved God and Adam, and indicates that all of Adam's descendants have been imbued with a knowledge of gardening. He describes the different plants that can flourish in the "English ayre," explains their uses, and gives advice on planting and maintaining gardens of three types--the flower garden, kitchen garden, and fruit orchard. Henrey calls the book "the earliest important treatise on horticulture to be published in [England]," and observes that "part of the charm of the 'Paradisius' lies in the author's love of plants and his sensibility of their beauty, feelings strongly reflected throughout his writing. His book is of interest and value as a record of the state of horticulture in England at the beginning of the 17th century." John Parkinson (1567-1650) was a practicing apothecary with a private botanical garden at Long Acre in London when he was appointed apothecary to James I. Our binding is a good example of the more recent decorative work done by the Bayntun bindery, founded in Bath in 1894 and now the last of the great Victorian trade binderies still in family ownership. Since the stamped signature at the back here reads "Bayntun-Riviere," our volume was obviously covered after 1937, when Bayntun acquired the Riviere bindery, which had been in business since 1829; the binding probably was done within the past two decades. (ST12287)
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PJP Catalog: NY18BF.010