Bruxelles, F. Parent, 1855. Large 4to (36.5 x 28.0 cm). Half-title, letterpress title with woodcut floral vignette; additional pictorial lithographed title with woodcut vignette on verso; dedication leaf by the author to the Comte de Chambord; ix, 64 pp.; 28 hand-coloured lithographed plates with explanatory text. Original printed wrappers, loosely inserted into a contemporary - custom made - dark blue pebbled morocco portfolio. "Spine" with five raised bands and gilt title; front (upper) board with gilt title. Iridescent silky paper on pastedowns.
Dedication copy of this extremely rare and attractive work on horticulture. According to Barbier only 20 copies were issued, and the number of plates is dissimilar in all copies known. For instance, a copy in the Nantes library has but 22 plates. La Civélière is the name of the farm and nursery near Nantes where the plants were raised. Only one part was published. However, the Plesch copy does contain a second volume, though it seems to be the sole such copy recorded. The text contains a few sections which are not illustrated, whereas several plates have no text, however, this conforms with the index. Of the pear, Beurré clairgeau there are two different plates, as called for in the index. In 1980, Francis Edwards sold a copy also with 28 plates, the year before it was auctioned by Sotheby's, and profited from the work then being virtually unknown. Antiquariaat Forum offered a copy in 2011 at €17,925. Both lacked the second Beurré clairgeau pear plate. One Azalea plate is mounted, facing corresponding text on p. 49, but it is from an unrelated work and not listed in the index, and, therefore, it is not counted. Provenance: With a dedication leaf to "Monseigneur le Comte de Chambord", i.e., Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné d'Artois, Comte de Chambord, nominally Duke of Bordeaux and "King Henry V" [believed to have reigned from 2 to 9 August 1830] (1820-1883). He the grandson of Charles X of France, and son of the assassinated Duc and Duchesse de Berry. After his grandfather's expulsion from France in 1830, he initially lived with his aunt Marie Therese, Duchesse d'Angoulême, the only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. He was the last Bourbon of the main line. Provenance: Maggs Bros (printed book label in French, noting acquisition of Henri V's library); armorial bookplate on the front board verso (pastedown) of the Library of Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven (1900-1973). Some light, inobtrusive spotting. An excellent copy. Barbier 1: 90; Plesch, 313.