Paris, Charles de Sercy, 1678. 12mo (15.5 x 9.0 cm) [board size 16.1 x 9.3 m]. Title page, 3-117, [i] pp. Contemporary blind vellum. Ink script title in an old hand on the spine.
A very rare first edition of a popular early work on tulips and tulip cultivation, published anonymously, but known to have been written by Charles de La Chesnée-Monstereul, about whom little is known. Hyde describes him merely as floriculturist, and indeed he was a prolific writer on flower bulb cultivation, and tulips in particular. According to OCLC, 13 editions - all in French - were published between 1678 and 1697 and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. The last edition is dated 1697, and has a different, floral, vignette on the title. Of this first edition there are no auction records. Provenance: With on the front pastedown the armorial-pictural bookplate "Je soutaindrai" of F. C. G. Comte de Cuijpers, "Seigneur de Rijmenam, d'opstalle de Muijselwijck, de Zutinghen, & a. & a."; old private owner's inscription J. J. Kerbert, on front free endpaper recto. A few marginalia in light pencil, otherwise an excellent, clean copy. Hyde, E. (2002) Flowers of distinction: Taste, Class and Fliriculture in Seventeenth-Century France, pp. 77-101 in: Conan, M. (ed.) Bourgeois and Aristocratic Cultural Encounters in Garden Art, 1550-1850.