ALBUM DU PAYSAGISTE POUR L'ARRANGEMENT DES PARCS ET DES JARDINS. 23 Planches Contenant 300 Croquis.
Paris: J. Rothschild, 1875. This rare pattern book for park and garden structures was published posthumously by the author's wife from sketchbooks prepared by him over several years. Courval was proprietor of the Chateau de Pinon (Aisne), an ancestral domaine noted for its large picturesque park. He was a determined experimental arborist whose innovative and widely adopted system for the pruning of large trees was first published in 1859 under the title TAILLE ET CONDUITE DES ARBRES FORESTIERS. The discoveries described there all took place at Pinon. In addition to his experiments with trees, however, Courval also managed his extensive property for picturesque effect. A contemporary visitor to the park described it as follows: "The park is splendid, a real domain, all the paths and alleys beautifully kept and every description of tree -- M. de Courval was always trying experiments with foreign trees and shrubs and apparently most successfully. I think the park would have been charming in its natural state, as there was a pretty little river running through the grounds and some tangles of bushes and rocks that looked quite wild -- it might have been in the middle of the forest but everything had been done to assist nature. There were a pièce d'eau, cascades, little bridges thrown over the river in picturesque spots, and on the highest point a tower (donjon), which was most effective, looked quite the old feudal towers of which so few remain now." (quoted from CHATEAU AND COUNTRY LIFE IN FRANCE by Mary King Waddington). The decorative features of the park were apparently also the creation of this talented amateur, who kept several notebooks to record his ideas. The wide range of subject matter includes rustic bridges and out buildings; gates and benches; urns; tools; sign posts; potted shrubs; and almost anything else that might find a place in a French rural private park at the end of the 19th century. Publication of the volume was clearly undertaken as a tribute by the author's widow, whose social standing (or large purse) may have persuaded Rothschild, the most important publisher in the field, to add it to his list. It was not a commercial success and is now quite rare. OCLC locates copies at Princeton and at Dumbarton Oaks and COPAC locates the British Library and British Library Reference Collections copy. CCfr locates two additional copies. The work was apparently unknown to Ganay. Oblong folio (37 x 53.5 cm); 4 ff. + 23 lithographed plates.
Original printed boards, worn and soiled, repaired at corners and at cracks along top margin; new cloth spine; new endpapers; preliminary pages foxed, plates clean.
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