12mo (148 x 85 mm). , 162,  pp. Publisher’s woodcut device on title, woodcut head- and tailpiece and opening initial. Contemporary parchment over flexible pasteboards. Front pastedown unglued showing liners of printed waste. Dampstain to first few leaves, foxing and softening, corners creased, binding soiled and stiffened. Provenance: from the library of the English Benedictines in Paris (St. Edmund’s Priory), late 17th or 18th-century inscription on title, Benedictorum anglorum S[anc]ti Edmundi Parisiis. ***
first edition of a guide to carnations and pinks, evidently by a gardener or nurseryman (whether a gentleman or a professional gardener is not known); the book, which went into several editions, helped spread the vogue for the flower in France, and is still respected. In the preface, the anonymous author claims that he intends his book for other fleuristes, with no commercial interests but purely in order to share the beauty of the flower. Testifying to the breadth of his experience, the first part is a detailed technical guide to cultivation, with much precise advice on layering (marcottage), cultivation in a pot versus a greenhouse, required watering and sun exposure, flowering, and protection from blights and insects (especially earwigs and ants). The second part, starting with chapter XVII on p. 89, is a more properly aesthetic guide to the flower, with a general assessment of its lovely qualities, and a detailed list of well over 200 different carnation varieties, organized alphabetically under each color: violet, red, crimson, pink, white, and multicolored. An entire paragraph is devoted to each type. The work, which was apparently erroneously ascribed by Barbier to one Goube of Valenciennes, met a need and was reprinted at least three times before 1700.
This copy was owned by the Benedictine community of St. Edmund in Paris, founded in 1615 by the English Benedictine Dom Gabriel Gifford, later Archbishop of Reims and primate of France. Following its expulsion from Paris during the Revolution, the community took over the vacant buildings of the community of St. Gregory's in Douai in 1818.
OCLC locates copies in the US at the libraries at Oak Spring, NY Botanical Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. Musset-Pathay, Bibliographie agronomique 1379; cf. Barbier III: 522. Item #2995