LA QUINTINYE, Jean-Baptiste de (1626-1688). EVELYN, John (1620-1706). The Compleat Gard'ner. Translated by John Evelyn. London: for Matthew Gillyflower, 1693.
2 volumes in one. Folio (12 2/8 x 8 inches). Title-page printed in red and black (some minor marginal worming to later text leaves). Engraved frontispiece portrait of the author, and 11 plates, including two folding, 9 engraved vignette head-pieces, and small wood-engravings in the text. Modern brown paneled calf antique.
Provenance: with the ownership inscription "Planche, Lyon" date 1861 at the head of the title-page.
First edition in English of the Quintinye's "Compleat Gard'ner" translated by the celebrated John Evelyn: founding member of the Royal Society, English writer, diarist, and gardener. The first appearance in print of Quintinye's "Treatise of Orange-trees".
La Quintinye was director of the fruit and kitchen gardens of the royal households from 1670 to 1688, and is celebrated as the man who created the potager for Louis XIV. La Quintinye originally trained as a lawyer, ".progressed to the Paris law courts and eventually became tutor to the son of the president of the Cour des Comptes, the powerful general accounting office. In that capacity he visited Italy, where he was enthralled by the gardens. On his return, de La Quintinye commandeered his employer's garden for experiments. When, in the early 1660's, Louis XIV decided to turn his father's hunting box at Versailles into a palace, he engaged the leading professionals of the day: the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun and the garden designer Andre Le Notre. He also hired de La Quintinye to improve and expand Louis XIII's potager. ("Potager". originally referring to the maker of the vegetable potages, or soups, that were the mainstay of medieval peasant cooking, it had, by the 16th century, been extended to mean the gardens where the soup makings grew.). As the time approached for the court to install itself definitively at Versailles, it became apparent that Louis XIII's kitchen garden of fewer than 10 acres, situated southeast of the chateau, was inadequate. So, in 1677, de La Quintinye undertook to create what is probably history's most ambitious kitchen garden-cum-orchard. Like all of Versailles, the new potager was intended as a showplace. De La Quintinye wrote that it had been positioned "convenient for walks and the King's satisfaction"" (New York Times, September 11, 1994). Quintinye was ennobled by the King in 1687. AN ATTRACTIVE COPY. Henrey 218; Keynes 103.