(Paris: De l'Imprimerie de P. Didot l'aîné, 1801). 152 x 124 mm. (6 x 4 7/8"). 3 p.l., xxxv, [i], 216 pp.
EXTREMELY PRETTY CONTEMPORARY GREEN MOROCCO, GILT, BY BOZERIAN (stamp-signed at foot of spine), covers with gilt frame of entwined ribbon and leaf roll enclosed within double rules, daisy cornerpieces, flat spine densely gilt in compartments with inlaid red morocco dot at center radiating a profusion of small tools, turn-ins with gilt chain roll, pink watered silk endleaves, the pastedowns with a delicate gilt border, all edges gilt. With four charming engraved plates by Choffard and Saint-Aubin after Monsiau, all before letters. Printed on "Papier Velin." Cohen-de Ricci, p. 279. A bit of fading to the covers, but A VERY FINE COPY inside and out, the binding especially lustrous and entirely unworn, the margins very ample, and the text unusually clean, fresh, and bright.
This is a delightful edition of a poem that had a real impact on landscape architecture, offered here in a binding characterized by impeccable execution and with typically elegant Bozerian design elements (including Neoclassical borders, intricate spine decoration, and silk endleaves). Active in Paris during the first quarter of the 19th century, the Bozerian binderies produced many fine books that are praised today especially for their technical achievement and elegance of design. François Bozerian, generally called Bozerian le jeune (1765-ca. 1818), was known to have worked from just after the turn of the century until his death, and for much of that time, he worked with his elder brother Jean-Claude (1762-1840). Among other distinguished work, the Bozerians did a considerable number of bindings for the Imperial Library at the instigation of Joseph Van Praet, the librarian responsible for building much of the original collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale. First published in 1780, Delille's poem on gardens is imbued with Rousseau's idea that natural is best. The poet contemns formal gardens and broad promenades in favor of a garden design that hides its artistry by reproducing the asymmetrical groupings of nature and careless bounty of the countryside. A bestseller despite the controversy it provoked among landscape designers, the work still exerts an influence today, as one can see in modern gardens and parks. Jacques Delille (1738-1813) was a schoolteacher whose translation of Virgil's "Georgics" (1769) brought him great acclaim for its supple and sonorous versification. It so pleased the Count of Artois (the future Charles X) that he named Delille to the sinecural post of abbot of Saint-Séverin. At 150 mm. tall, the present item does not have impressive size, but given its beautiful binding, pleasing illustrations, and remarkable condition, it is a volume with very considerable allure. (ST12743a)
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PJP Catalog: 71.089