A pinnacle in the history of landscape garden design

Pückler-Muskau, H. L. H. Graf von

Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei verbunden mit der Beschreibung ihrer praktischen Anwendung in Muskau. [Atlas].

Published 1834
Item ID 76669

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Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (Louis Friedrich Sachse), 1834. Oblong folio (34.0 x 48.5 cm). 45 finely engraved and original hand-coloured plates (numbered I-XXIX, XXXI-XXXXIV, XXXIII[bis], XXXIV[bis]), of which two much larger, folded, and three with originally hand-coloured overlays, partly augmented with gum arabic. Contemporary full straight-grained green morocco. Spine with four raised, gilt-ornamented green bands, and gilt ornamental head and tail pieces; boards with quadruple gilt-lined borders with floral gilt cornerpieces. Original marbled slipcase with a red morocco label with gilt ornamental border and gilt title on the front board.

A wonderful atlas, characterized by broad panoramas with peculiar overlays, written by the German nobleman, Count (later Prince) Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871). "Pückler was born in Muskau on 30 October 1785 as a Sunday’s child. During his childhood, Pückler attended various educational institutions and began to study law in Leipzig but broke off his studies one year later to join the Garde du Corps in Dresden as a lieutenant. In 1806, heavily in debt, he fled from his creditors to Vienna and set off on a four-year youth tour to Italy. When his father died in 1811, Hermann Count of Pückler inherited the estate of Muskau, the then largest estate on German territory, and developed his first landscape design plans. In Muskau Park, on which he worked from 1815 to 1845, he developed an internationally recognised 'thumb print' in the design of landscape gardens based on the English model. In 1817, he got married to Lucie, who was nine years his senior, divorced Countess of Pappenheim and daughter of the Prussian State Chancellor Karl August of Hardenberg. She shared his passion for gardens and the plan for the magnificent landscape park on the River Neisse. But the park swallowed up their assets, the debts piled up and the sale of Muskau was looming. As a last resort, Lucie proposed a formal divorce so that Pückler could find himself a wealthy bride in England. He toured for three years and although he did not find a wife in the end, Pückler devoted himself extensively to the landscape gardens and parks of England, Ireland and Wales on his journey. He reported his experiences in numerous letters to his ex-wife Lucie. In 1834, after nearly 20 years of working on the Muskau garden, Pückler published his magnum opus, Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei, or Hints on Landscape Gardening. (Pückler [Peuckler] Museum website). The peculiar overlays show the changes to the landscape of the Muskau gardens, as proposed by Pückler. The estate and park still exist. Being situated right on the post WWII border between Germany and Poland, it is now completely restored in its former glory. This is the very rare, impressive pictorial atlas only, published by the German lithographer, early photographer and art dealer, Louis Friedrich Sachse (1798-1877), whose Verlags-Anstalt was specialized in fine lithography. The slightly more frequently recorded octavo text volume and four maps are not included. In 2014 a successful reprint was published. Both the absence of a plate numbered XXX and the presence of two different plates numbered XXXIII-XXXIV is as usual. Provenance: armorial bookplate of the Anglo-British botanist and ornithologist Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven (1900-1973) "Si je puis" mounted on the front pastedown. Some very light shelf-wear; a few, skilful repairs to the slipcase; mostly minor, scattered foxing and toning (from gum arabic extended over the white margins), otherwise a very good, clean copy. We found eight auction records over the last 30 years, however, only five with 45 plates. Graesse V, p. 504. Not in Cat. BM(NH).

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