It has been a vision of the Library to share with the general public some of the rare manuscripts and printed works that have been the cornerstone of Mrs. Mellon's passion for creating the Oak Spring Garden Library.
- Mrs. Mellon's Five Favorite Books
- Landscape Architecture Collection
- Natural History Collection
- Botanical Explorations
- Special Digitizing Projects
- Oak Spring Garden Library Volumes
Mrs. Mellon's Five Favorite Books
The Oak Spring Garden Library and Rachel Lambert Mellon are happy to announce the digitization of five important books from the Library's collection. They were especially selected by Mrs. Mellon and these titles have been very influential and important to her over the course of time. They are:
Furber, Robert (circa 1674-1756)
THE FLOWER-GARDEN DISPLAY'D, IN ABOVE FOUR HUNDRED CURIOUS REPRESENTATIONS OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS…
This was the beginning of the Oak Spring Garden Library - the first rare book purchased by Mrs. Mellon at a very young age. It also gave her the desire and passion to learn more about plants. Soon after, she began to collect other rare material, both printed and manuscript.
La Quintinie, Jean de (1626-1688)
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. BY THE FAMOUS MONSR. DE LA QUINTINYE, CHIEF DIRECTOR OF ALL THE GARDENS OF THE FRENCH-KING…
London, 1693, two volumes in one, English edition, translated by John Evelyn
The cultivation of vegetables and fruit, plus the pruning and training of fruit trees, have always been a real joy to Mrs. Mellon. La Quintine's methods and designs have helped her over the years with her own plantings and growing of espaliers and cordons. She has also collected several editions of this work.
Noisette, Louis Claude (1772-1849)
LE JARDIN FRUITIER, CONTENANT L'HISTOIRE, LA DESCRIPTION, LA CULTURE ET LES USAGES DES ARBRES FRUITIERS, DES FRAISIERS, ET DES MEILLEURES ESPECES DE VIGNES QUI SE TROUVENT EN EUROPE; LES USAGES DE FRUITS SOUS LE RAPPORT DE L'ECONOMIE DOMESTIQUE ET DE LA MEDECINE; DES PRINCIPES ELEMENTAIRES SUR LA MANIERE D'ELEVER LES ARBRES, SUR LA GREFFE, LA PLANTATION, LA TAILLE, ET TOUT CE QUI A RAPPORT A LA CONDUITE D'UN JARDIN FRUITIER…
Paris, 1821, three volumes
This is one of Mrs. Mellon's favorite books. This beautifully illustrated work has been a great help to her as it gives an accurate view and insight to the history, culture, and uses of fruit – from the planting of seeds to the training and shaping of trees for high quality fruit production.
Munting, Abraham (1626-1683)
ABRAHAMI MUNTINGII, MEDICINAE AC BOTANICES PROFESSORIS: PHYTOGRAPHIA CURIOSA, EXHIBENS ARBORUM, FRUTICUM, HERBARUM & FLORUM ICONES, DUCENTIS & QUADRAGINTA QUINQUE TABULIS AD VIVUM DELINEATIS AC ARTIFICIOSISSIME AERI INCISIS. VARIAS EARUM DENOMINATIONES, LATINAS, GALLICAS, ITALICAS, GERMANICAS, BELGICAS, ALIASQUE, EX PROBATISSIMIS ANTHORIBUS, PRISCIS AC NEOTERICIS, DESUMPTAS COLLEGIT & ADJECIT FRANCISCUS KIGGELAER, BOTANOPHILUS.
This remarkable volume was purchased many years ago by Mrs. Mellon because of its unusual composition and depiction of the many types of plants from Munting's early travels across Europe.
Reed, Chester Albert (1876-1912)
FLOWER GUIDE – REVISED AND WITH NEW ILLUSTRATIONS – WILD FLOWERS EAST OF THE ROCKIES BY CHESTER A. REED – AUTHOR OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS' EGGS, BIRD GUIDE, ETC. WITH 320 FLOWERS IN COLOR, PAINTED BY THE AUTHOR
Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1920
This small tome was a very special gift from Mrs. Mellon's grandfather, Arthur Houghton Lowe (1853-1932). It traveled with her routinely, giving her the knowledge and ideas to learn and grow plants. He was a great teacher and influence - giving her a genuine appreciation for nature and learning.
We hope that these unique titles will continue to inspire and teach people who are interested in gardening and plants. We welcome your comments and any research inquiries. Enjoy!
Landscape Architecture Collection
From the earliest of civilizations to the present day, the designing of garden spaces for practical and aesthetic purposes has been documented and recorded in many art forms. Here, at the Oak Spring Garden Library, Rachel Lambert Mellon has collected many rare books, manuscripts, drawings, and prints relating to this subject. As a gardener and garden designer herself, she has used these works as a guide and teaching tool for her own personal endeavors. With the help of Andrew McRobb (Kew Gardens) and William Robertson (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) we have begun digitizing some of these volumes with a new 'Leaf Digital-Back Camera.'
Plans de quelques pieces de Trianon Circa 1699
French School – Plans de quelques pieces de Trianon – [plans of Marly]. Circa 1699. Folio album containing seven double-page plans in pen, pencil, and watercolor; bound in full tan calf with gilt arms of Louis XV (1710-1774) on covers; title leaf and first drawing stamped: Château de la Roche Guy Bibliothèque.
Domenico Felice Leonardi and Marc' Antonio Dal Re (1697-1766)
Domenico Felice Leonardi and Marc' Antonio Dal Re (1697-1766) – Le Delizie della Villa di Castellazzo Descritte in Verso Dall' Abbate Domenico Felice Leonardi Lucchese Fra gli Arcadi Ildosio Foloetico. Milan, 1743. 24 hand-colored etchings in tan paper portfolio; text (poem) bound in decorative Italian wrappers.
Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-circa 1604)
Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-circa 1604) - Hortorum Viridariorumque elegantes & multiplicis formae, ad architectonicae artis normam affabre delineatae. a Johanne Vredmanno Frisio - Philippus Gallaeus excudebat Antuerpiae. 1583. Engraved title-page and 34 engraved plates; bound in quarter calf and brown paste paper boards.
Victor Jean Baptiste Petit (1817-after 1863)
Victor Jean Baptiste Petit (1817-after 1863) – Parcs et jardins des environs de Paris nouveau recueil de plans de jardins et petits parcs dessinés à vol d'oiseau dans les genres Français, Anglais, Suisse, etc. Variés de forme et de grandeur et accompagnés de constructions formant l'ornementation des jardins pavillons, chalets, chaumières, kiosques, belvédères orangeries, serres, pigeonniers, ponts, cascades, rochers, grottes, berceaux, etc. par Victor Petit auteur des Maisons de Campagne, des Habitations Champêtres, etc. Paris, Monrocq Frères Editeurs du Journal L'Ecole de Dessin, du Praticien Industriel, du Dessin Linéaire Industriel, des Maisons de Campagne, Etc. Circa 1840. 50 chromolithographs; bound in quarter green leather and black paper boards.
Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724)
Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) - Grundris des Hoch-Fürstl. Lust-Gartens mit dem Schloss der Hertzogl. Residenz zu Hildburghausen. in Kupfer heraus-gegeben von Joh. Bapt. Homann Der Röm. Kays Mai. Geographo in Nürnberg. Circa 1720. Three double-page etchings, hand-colored; bound in modern quarter calf and decorative paper boards.
Cieraad der Lusthooven
Cieraad der Lusthooven, bestaande in allerhande soorten van Drooge en Natte Kommen, Parterres, Graswerken en Fonteynen. Tot dienst van alle Liefhebbers der Buite-plaatzen. Kunstig by eengesteld door J.V.D.M. Leyden, By Hendrik en Daniel van Damme, 1730. Engraved and etched half title, plus 24 engraved and etched plates; bound in half red morocco and pink paste paper boards.
André Mollet (d. circa 1665)
André Mollet (d. circa 1665) – Le Jardin de Plaisir, Contenant plusieurs desseins de Jardinage tant Parterres en Broderie, Compartiments de gazon, que Bosquets, & autres. Avec un Abbregé de l'Agriculture, touchant ce qui peut estre le plus utile & necessaire a la Construction & accompagnement dudict Jardin de plaisir. Composé & divisé en onze chapitres par André Mollet Maistre des Jardins de la Serenissime Reine de Suede. A Stocholme, Chez Henry Kayser, 1651. Engraved portrait of Claude Mollet (circa 1564-circa 1649) and 30 engraved and etched plates; bound in 19th century half green morocco and marbled boards.
Louis Carrogis (Carmontelle, 1717-1806) (Book)
Jardin de Monceau, près de Paris, appartenant a son altesse sérénissime Monseigneur le Duc de Chartres. Paris, chez M. Delafosse, 1779. 18 full-page engraved and etched plates; bound with Le Sacre de Louis XV, Roy de France e de Navarre dans l'Eglise de Reims, Le Dimanche XXV Octobre 1722 in contemporary mottled calf.
Louis Carrogis (Carmontelle, 1717-1806) (Transparent)
Monsieur Carmontelle is also known as the inventor of the continuously rolling and often backlit Transparent; an early forerunner of motion pictures. Few of these transparencies are available today for display and many were cut to make individual pieces; those few that are intact are extremely fragile. The Oak Spring Garden Library has a remarkable one in its collection - a Transparent panorama (approximately 70 feet in length) depicting beautiful views in gardens, parks, and country landscapes, passing between two reels, mounted behind a wooden proscenium with two handles above for turning the reels, lit from the rear, composed of 51 sheets, each measuring approximately 18 7/8 x 14 ¼ inches (48 x 36 cm.), pasted together with watercolor and gum Arabic, and with some color on the verso to give added depth, all backed by gauze with top and bottom edges strengthened. The viewing theatre is 22 ¾ x 40 7/8 x 12 5/8 inches (58 x 104 x 31.5 cm.); its proscenium opening is 18 ¼ x 27 7/8 inches (47 x 71 cm.). Provenance: M. and Mme. Dessus (until 1936); de Waldner; Penard y Fernandez; Member of the Rothschild family, Paris.
Natural History Collection
The desire to learn and understand more about our 'natural world' has always been a subject of great interest and curiosity to mankind. The meaning of 'Natural History' is very broad, but it entails the basic research and study of plants and animals in both an observational and scientific state. Here at the Oak Spring Garden Library, there are many tomes in various formats of curiosities ranging from insects, birds, and fishes -- to definitive floral studies and botanical explorations and travels. It is very hard to imagine the hardships that were endured by all the men and women who gathered their specimens of interest for general knowledge; however, each one did make a contribution to this subject, paving the way for more research and education in all the various categories of 'Natural History.' We selected the following works for digitization and hope to add more at a later date -
Circa 1772. Folio album comprising of 47 water- and bodycolor drawings bound in ornate red morocco.
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
1679. [Nuremberg, Johann Andreas Graffen; Frankfurt and Leipzig, David Funken], 1679 [-1683]. Two volumes bound in one, each with engraved half title and 50 engraved and etched plates (total of 100), all hand-colored; bound in contemporary Cambridge calf. Provenance: Mary Somerset, the Duchess of Beaufort (1630-1715).
George Perry (b. circa 1771)
Conchology, or the natural history of shells: containing a new arrangement of the genera and species, illustrated by coloured engravings executed from the natural specimens, and including the latest discoveries. London, printed for William Miller, 1811. 61 hand-colored aquatints; bound in contemporary quarter red morocco and brown paper boards. This controversial book of shells contains 61 nicely hand-colored aquatint plates, all inscribed "London Pub. By W. Miller, 1810," and engraved by John Clarke.
Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot (1748-1831)
Histoire naturelle des plus beaux oiseaux chanteurs de la zone torride: par L.P. Vieillot. A Paris, chez J.E. Gabriel Dufour, 1805. 72 hand-colored engraved and etched plates, some with stipple; bound in Contemporary French ornate red morocco.
William Bligh (1754-1817)
A voyage to the south sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty's ship, the Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an account of the mutiny on board the said ship, and the subsequent voyage of Part of the Crew, in the ship's boat, From Tofoa, one of the friendly islands, To Timor, a Dutch settlement in the East Indies. The whole illustrated with charts, &c. Published by permission of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. London, printed for George Nicol, 1792. Stipple engraved frontispiece portrait of Bligh, etched plate of a breadfruit, and six engraved maps and plans; bound in modern half brown morocco and brown cloth.
Sydney Parkinson (circa 1745-1771)
Sydney Parkinson (circa 1745-1771) – A journal of a voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's ship, The Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on his late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World. Embellished with Views and Designs, delineated by the Author, and engraved by capital Artists. London, printed for Stanfield Parkinson, the Editor, 1773. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Parkinson and 27 engraved and etched plates; bound in contemporary calf; re-backed with original spine. This is the first edition - large paper copy - of the unofficial account of Cook's first voyage that was published after Sydney Parkinson's death, by his brother Stanfield.
Amédée-François Frézier (1682-1773)
Amédée-François Frézier (1682-1773) – A voyage to the South-Sea, And along the coasts of Chili and Peru, In the Years 1712, 1713, and 1714. Particularly describing The Genius and Constitution of the Inhabitants, as well Indians as Spaniards: Their Customs and Manners; their Natural History, Mines, Commodities, Traffick with Europe, &c. By Monsieur Frezier, Engineer in Ordinary to the French King. Illustrated with 37 copper-cuts of the Coasts, Harbours, Cities, Plants, and other Curiosities: Printed from the Author's Original Plates inserted in the Paris edition. With a postscript by Dr. Edmund Halley, Savilian Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford. And an Account of the Settlement, Commerce, and Riches of the Jesuites in Paraguay. London, printed for Jonah Bowyer, 1717. 37 engraved and etched plates, 18 are folded; bound in contemporary paneled calf; re-backed. This is Frézier's translated account of his voyage to South America and it also contains a 'Postcript' by the famous English astronomer and mathematician, Edmond Halley (1656-1742). The work was first published in Paris, 1716, and a second edition appeared in 1732. There were Dutch and German translations as well.
James Wallis, Captain (circa 1785-1858)
James Wallis, Captain (circa 1785-1858) - An historical account of The Colony of New South Wales and its dependent settlements; in illustration of twelve views, engraved by W. Preston, a convict; from Drawings taken on the Spot, by Captain Wallis, of the forty-sixth Regiment. To which is subjoined an accurate map of Port Macquarie, and the newly discovered River Hastings, By J. Oxley, Esq. Surveyor General to the Territory. London, printed for R. Ackermann, Repository of Arts, Strand, 1821. 13 engraved and etched plates: six are double-page with linen backs; seven are full page; all engraved by Walter Preston (b. 1777). Bound in 19th-century three-quarter maroon morocco and marbled boards. This is one of the first books to document various topographical views of New South Wales, Australia.
Pieter Goos (1615-1675)
Pieter Goos (1615-1675) – The sea-atlas or the watter-world, Wherein described all the sea coasts Of the knowne world. Very usefull and necessary for all Shipmasters, Pilots and Seamen, As allso for Marchants and Others. Printed by Peter Goos, at Amsterdam. And are to be sould at his shop upon the Texels Key neer to the Sparendamer bridge at the signe of the Golden Sea Mirror. 1670. Bound in contemporary mottled calf, this beautifully produced and richly hand-colored atlas of 40 engravings was published in English for merchants and mariners. The last four English editions, officially entitled Zee-Atlas, were published in 1667, 1668, 1669, and 1670 respectively. This atlas evolved from two famous sea atlases, one by Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), published in 1650; the other one by Jacob Aertsz Colom (1599-1673), published in 1654. It continued to develop as a pilot guide or Zeespiegel and Goos obtained the plates for this work from Anthonie Jacobsz (circa 1606-1650), a printer and publisher of pilot books located in Amsterdam. Soon the atlas became very famous and was reprinted in several editions and languages. Throughout the course of its publishing history, the number of charts in the Zee-Atlas remained constant at 40 or 41. Pieter's widow published the later editions of the Zee- Atlas and eventually sold the publishing rights to Jacobus Robijn (1649-circa 1707), a map and chart seller who was also based in Amsterdam.
Special Digitizing Project
Sophie Grandval-Justice (b.1936)
Click here to view the Grandval Project
Sophie Grandval-Justice was born in Paris and studied engraving under the Polish artist Johnny Friedlander (1912-1992). After completing her training, she began a career as a textile designer. Her work drew attention of Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927) and other top French designers. An exhibit of her textile designs was held in 1958 at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Herolt, Johanna Helena, attributed to, (1668- after 1723)
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Johanna Helena Herolt, born in Frankfurt, Germany, was the eldest daughter of painter, draftsman, and engraver Johann Andreas Graff (1637-1701), and well-known insect and botanical painter and nature researcher Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). Along with her sister, Dorothea Maria Graff (1678-1743), Johanna Helena learned to paint from her renowned mother and father.
Seven botanical watercolor and bodycolor drawings on vellum, heightened with gum arabic.
Click here to view the Spaendonck Project
Gerard van Spaendonck, (1746-1822) - Album of Flower Studies - not dated.
An album d’atelier of floral motifs by one of the most significant botanical painters of the eighteenth century, Dutch artist Gerard van Spaendonck. The album comprises 80 black chalk drawings, all on right-side pages, with the exception of drawings 70, 78, and 79 which are on left-side pages. Bound in wallet-style limp cloth, with ‘II G. van Spaendonck.’ in ink, presumably in the hand of the artist, on the top cover.
LOUDON, JOHN CLAUDIUS (1783-1843)
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LOUDON, JOHN CLAUDIUS (1783-1843)
SKETCHES OF THE ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS PROPOSED TO BE MADE ON BARNBARROW HOUSE. THE PROPERTY & RESIDENCE OF ROBERT… AGNEW ESQR. LONDON 8TH APRIL 1806
London, 1806 and circa 1820-1841
Oblong manuscript comprises title-page in ink; 24 pen and ink, wash, and watercolor drawings (mounted to leaves) measuring between 4 x 6 inches to 13 ¼ x 20 ½ inches; folded manuscript leaves in paper sleeve pasted to rear paste-down endpaper. In quarter polished brown calf and marbled paper over boards; spine gilt. Spine height: 13 ¾ inches.
CATESBY, MARK (1683-1749)
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CATESBY, MARK (1683-1749)
HORTUS EUROPAE AMERICANUS: OR, A COLLECTION OF 85 CURIOUS TREES AND SHRUBS, THE PRODUCE OF NORTH AMERICA; ADAPTED TO THE CLIMATES AND SOILS OF GREAT-BRITAIN, IRELAND, AND MOST PARTS OF EUROPE, &C. TOGETHER WITH THEIR BLOSSOMS, FRUITS AND SEEDS; OBSERVATIONS ON THEIR CULTURE, GROWTH, CONSTITUTION AND VIRTUES. WITH DIRECTIONS HOW TO COLLECT, PACK UP, AND SECURE THEM IN THEIR PASSAGE. ADORN'D WITH 63 FIGURES ON 17 COPPER-PLATES, LARGE IMPERIAL QUARTO. BY MARK CATESBY, F.R.S.
London: Printed for J. Millan, near Whitehall. 1767. Price colour'd Il. IIs. 6d.
Quarto. 15 leaves with four engraved and etched plates per leaf. Two full page engraved and etched plates. Contemporary tree calf with gilt borders on covers; spine gilt; spine re-backed with original leather. Spine height: 15 inches. Bookplate: "The Honble. Shute Barrington LLD. Lord Bishop of Durham."
THE FRUITS OF THE LIMA MARKET
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THE FRUITS OF THE LIMA MARKET. BY MRS.. D.E. SMITH, BETWEEN THE YEARS 1850 & ’’53
Manuscript comprises: title-page in pencil; 30 watercolors all measuring approximately 14 ¾ x 21 1/8 inches (one is a folding leaf measuring 30 ½ x 20 ¼ inches)bearing botanical names in pencil; three blank leaves. Each drawing has been mounted onto a leaf with a manuscript label bottom center, presumably in the hand of the artist, identifying the fruit and the height of the tree. Bookplate: “Crewe Hall/Inferior Sequor Nec.” Bound in three-quarter green morocco and green cloth. Spine tooled in gilt. Spine height: 21 inches.
De Geest Manuscript
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JARDIN DE RARES ET CURIEUX FLEURS FAICTES PR. FRANCOIS DE GEEST DE LEOVARDE EN FRISE - [Holland], circa 1660
Manuscript comprises title-page; pencil and ink wash drawing of an Italian garden corner by Adam Pynacker (Dutch, 1622-1673); 101 bodycolors on vellum (some with pencil), all tipped-in, each with protective paper leaf and each measuring about 11 ½ x 7 ½ inches. The drawings contain several flowers and they are identified in manuscript. Bound in 18th century Dutch marbled calf with gilt panels and large center ornaments incorporating the letters GH; a.e.g.; spine richly gilt in seven compartments and lettered: ‘Bloem Boeck Door P. F. Geest.’
Duhamel du Monceau, Henri Louis (1700-1782)
Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) - Traité des arbres fruitiers; contenant leur figure, leur description, leur culture, &c. Par M. Duhamel du Monceau, de l’Académie Royale des Sciences; de la Société Royale de Londres; des Académies de Petersbourg, de Palerme, & de l’Institut de Bologne; Honoraire de la Société d’ Edimbourg, & de l’Académie de Marine; Associé à plusieurs Sociétés d’Agriculture; Inspecteur Général de la Marine. Tome Premier [-Tome Second]. Paris, Chez Saillant and Desaint, 1768. Two volumes bound in full red morocco. Provenance: Arpad Plesch (1954-1974).
TAYLOR, SIMON (1742-1796)
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TAYLOR, SIMON (English, 1742-1796)
Flowering plants from the gardens of Lord Bute at Luton Hoo
Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, circa 1770
Manuscript consists of 46 bodycolors and watercolors on vellum, measuring approximately 19 ½ x 13 3/8 inches, all mounted on sheets of paper with watercolor-ruled borders. All inscribed with the plant name and numbered 1-46. Rebound in original full red morocco; gilt; a.e.g.; arms of Earl of Bute stamped in gilt. On leather labels on spine: "Plants by Taylor." In a half vellum and decorative paper box-case. Spine height: 26 inches.
SAINT-AUBIN, CHARLES GERMAIN DE (1721-1786)
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SAINT-AUBIN, CHARLES GERMAIN DE (French, 1721-1786)
RECEUIL DE PLANTES COPIEES D'APRES NATURE PAR DE SAINT AUBIN DESSINATEUR DU ROY LOUIS XV. 1736-1785.
Manuscript comprising two leaves of manuscript text: "Histoire de Charles Germain de Saint Aubin, Dessinateur du Roi, auteur de ce livre," and "Généalogie des Saint Aubin"; title-page (watercolor on vellum with gilt lettering); 231 leaves of plants, mostly watercolors, some ink wash, some red pastel, some on blue paper; leaf number 231 has Saint Aubin's etched trade card pasted on verso; one leaf containing another of Saint-Aubin etched trade card and his bookplate; six etched plates pasted in including title-page, "Les Fleurettes de Saint Aubin dessinateur du Roy;" 20 leaves of plants and birds, mostly watercolors, some ink wash, some red pastel; manuscript on verso of last watercolor leaves; two leaves of manuscript text containing an index of the plants illustrated within. The recto of each leaf is numbered by hand in the upper right corner (fols. 1-258); the name and a description of the plant appear in manuscript, as well as a date between 1740 and 1786. Mottled brown calf; re-backed with original floriated gilt and gilt lettering: 'Sepecet De La Natur'. In half vellum and cloth box-case. Spine height: 15 7/8 inches.
Oak Spring Garden Library Volumes
Click here for a preview of An Oak Spring Sylva
An Oak Spring Sylva is the first of a series of catalogues describing selections of the rare books, manuscripts, works of art, and related artifacts in the Oak Spring Garden Library, a collection formed by Rachel Lambert Mellon.
This publication, discusses books and manuscripts on trees, is the smallest volume of the series, describing nearly fifty books, manuscripts, or drawings, from a tiny 1555 book on oaks to early nineteenth-century advice on large-scale tree-planting, a range including both great books, like Evelyn's Sylva, Duhamel's Traite des Arbres, and Michaux's North American Sylva, and more modest ones, like Marshall's American Grove, which helped introduce the riches of American forests to European gardens in the eighteenth century. Each description makes clear the background of each book and its relationship to others, while a generous number of illustrations in color and black and white help to give an impression of their contents.
Click here for a preview of An Oak Spring Pomona
An Oak Spring Pomona is the second book in the series.
The Pomona describes one hundred books and manuscripts about fruit, with illustrations taken from some of the most beautiful books on the subject, as well as from original drawings and paintings. The earliest book described is Bussato's Giardino di Agricoltura of 1592, the latest The Herefordshire Pomona, and encyclopedia of apples and pears from the 1870s. In between there is a gathering of fruit books large and small: La Quintinie's Instruction pour les Jardins Fruitiers, first published in 1690 and translated by John Evelyn three years later, Duhamel's Traite des Arbres Fruitiers, and nearly fifty others from France and Britain, among them Brookshaw's giant Pomona Britannica and a handful of pocket-sized books of directions for grafting and cultivating the best varieties available.
Click here for a preview of An Oak Spring Flora
An Oak Spring Flora is the third book in the series.
This authoritative and magnificently illustrated presentation of the art of flower depiction in the West is the third volume in a series of catalogues that describe the rare-in some cases unique-books, manuscripts, and other works of art conserved at Oak Spring Garden Library, a collection formed over many years by Rachel Lambert Mellon. The author, Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi, has selected more than one hundred items from Oak Spring's extensive holdings, which include superb manuscript florilegia, botanical prints, books of instruction of every kind, still-life and vanitas paintings, and various ornamental ceramics and textiles. Among them are examples by some of the greatest names ever to have worked in either scientific or decorative botanical art-Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, Georg Dionysius Ehret, Nicolas Robert, and Pierre Joseph Redoute.
Click here for a preview of An Oak Spring Herbaria
An Oak Spring Herbaria is the fourth book in the series.
by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi
This authoritative and magnificently illustrated book on herbals is the fourth volume in a remarkable series of catalogues that describes rare books, manuscripts, and other works of art conserved at the Oak Spring Garden Library, Upperville, Virginia, a collection formed over many years by Rachel Lambert Mellon. Previously published volumes include An Oak Spring Sylva on trees, An Oak Spring Pomona on fruit, and An Oak Spring Flora on flowers.
For An Oak Spring Herbaria, the author has selected sixty-three works from the Library’s extensive collections. The volume is thematically organized and arranged into the following chapters : ‘Late Medieval Herbals’; ‘The Great Age of Renaissance Botany’; ‘Herbals and Plants from Distant Lands’; ‘Herbals by Herbalists, Pharmacists, and Physicians’; ‘Herbals of the Botanical Gardens and Private Gardens of Europe’; ‘Curious and Strange Herbals’; ‘Dried Specimens and Nature Printing’; and ‘American Herbals.’