A Booke of the Arte and maner, howe to plante and graffe all sorts of trees, how to set stones, and sow Pepynes to make wyld trees to graffe on, as also remedies and medicines. With divers other newe practises, by one of the Abbey of S. Vincent in Fraunce...With an addition in the ende of this booke, of certayne Dutch practices, sette forth and Englished by…

The First English Gardening Manual

A Booke of the Arte and maner, howe to plante and graffe all sorts of trees, how to set stones, and sow Pepynes to make wyld trees to graffe on, as also remedies and medicines. With divers other newe practises, by one of the Abbey of S. Vincent in Fraunce...With an addition in the ende of this booke, of certayne Dutch practices, sette forth and Englished by…

Woodcut vignette on title, one full-page woodcut plate, & several smaller woodcuts in the text. Black letter. 11 p.l., 90, [10] pp. Small 4to, early 20th-cent. brown crushed morocco by Riviere & Son, sides panelled in gilt & blind with gilt fleurons in each corner, spine gilt, a.e.g. London: H. Beynneman for J. Wight, [1569].

First edition of the first English gardening manual; this is a very rare book: ESTC locates no copy. WorldCat locates copies only at BL (lacking the first four leaves and final two leaves), Wisconsin, and BSB. Henrey also locates our copy and another at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Mascall took most of his text from David Brossard’s Art et Manière de Semer et Faire Pépinières de Sauvageaux (Paris: 1552), and added certain Dutch practices. “Brossard, a Benedictine monk at the abbey of Saint-Vincent near Le Mans, who lived during the second half of the sixteenth century, was a skilful horticulturist…The English translation proved extremely popular and it appeared in many editions. Comparatively little is known of the translator, Leonard Mascall (d. 1589), who was the owner of a mansion called Plumpton Place, a few miles northwest of Lewes, in Sussex. He became clerk of the kitchen in the household of Matthew Park, Archbishop of Canterbury. It is said that in 1525 Mascall introduced pippin apples into England and established an orchard at his home in Sussex.”–Henrey, I, pp. 63-64 & no. 15 in the bibliography.

A fine copy, lightly washed. A pencilled note at the back states this copy was purchased at the Willmott sale (Sotheby’s, 3 April 1935, lot 283, 30 pounds to Quaritch, one of the highest prices in this fine sale). This was the important botanical and music library of Ellen Ann Willmott (1858-1934), of Warley Place, Essex. She was an influential member of the Royal Horticultural Society; cultivated more than 100,000 species and cultivars of plants at her estate, which held one of the most celebrated gardens in the country; and sponsored expeditions to China and the Middle East to discover new species.

Price: $45,000.00

Item ID: 6547

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