Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels. Etienne Pierre VENTENAT.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.

Description des plantes… dans le jardin de J.M. Cels…
Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues, cultivées dans le jardin de J.M. Cels.

Paris: de l'Imprimerie de Crapelet, [Revolutionary Year VIII], 1800-1803.

Folio, 100 engraved plates each with descriptive letterpress sheet; complete with the half-title; a large copy, edges uncut, in contemporary green quarter morocco gilt.

With Australian plants gathered on the d'Entrecasteaux voyage

One of the most elegant botanical books, this study of "new and little known" plants in the gardens of Jacques Philippe Martin Cels in Paris was the first of the three major works on exotic plants produced by the great Ventenat, and a superb example of this golden age of botanical illustration. Ventenat's work, which publishes a striking series of ten Australian specimens, represents the apogee of the French fascination with exotic botany. Cels, who had originally been a tax collector at the Paris barriers, had to change direction after the Revolution: he converted his private gardens in Montrouge, just south of Paris, into one of the foremost commercial nurseries in Europe, where he collected and sold numerous rare species and provided exotica for, among others, the Empress Josephine's garden at Malmaison.

One of the most elegant botanical books, this study of "new and little known" plants in the gardens of Jacques Philippe Martin Cels in Paris was the first of the three major works on exotic plants produced by the great Ventenat, and a superb example of this golden age of botanical illustration. Ventenat's work, which publishes a striking series of ten Australian specimens, represents the apogee of the French fascination with exotic botany. Cels, who had originally been a tax collector at the Paris barriers, had to change direction after the Revolution: he converted his private gardens in Montrouge, just south of Paris, into one of the foremost commercial nurseries in Europe, where he collected and sold numerous rare species and provided exotica for, among others, the Empress Josephine's garden at Malmaison.
Altogether 100 rare species from Cels' gardens are described and illustrated here, the majority depicted by Pierre-Joseph Redouté with others the work of his brother Henri-Joseph, as well as Cloquet, Laneau, Maréchal and Sauvage. These include exotics from North America provided by André Michaux (1748-1802) and Louis-Agustin-Guillaume Bosc (1759-1828), from Africa provided by Pierre-Marie-Auguste Broussonet (1755-1834) and from the Near East and the Pacific provided by Jacques-Julien Houton de Labillardière (1755-1834). These Pacific and Australian specimens derived from the D'Entrecasteaux voyage on which, as it happened, Ventenat's younger brother Louis served as chaplain, but was one of those who died on the return journey.
French interest in plants from the farthest reaches of the known world is confirmed by the inclusion of ten Australian plants here, seven of which were drawn by Redouté himself while five are given their earliest scientific notice. Grown from cuttings, they wintered in the Orangerie hothouse. Included are the Mimosa distachya, discovered by Felix la Haye on the east coast of New Holland during the 1792 visit of the D'Entrecasteaux voyage, as well as the Mimosa linifolia and the Melaleuca Hypericifolia (a full listing of the Australian plants is available on request).
The cultivation of Australian species in European gardens had begun after the first species had been brought back by Joseph Banks (1743-1820) and James Cook (1728-1779), with the Royal Gardens at Kew amassing an important collection. The wars between Britain and France following the French Revolution of 1789, made Australian species very rare on the European continent. The Australian species in the Description des plantes were nevertheless acquired after 1792, with Cels' gardens subsequently being an important source for other botanical gardens on the continent.
This book includes a fascinating two-page note by Cels detailing his background, and noting some of the correspondents who had helped him in his endeavours, including officers who sailed with D'Entrecasteaux and Baudin, but also English savants such as Sir Joseph Banks and William Aiton. This was the first great work Cels made in conjunction with Pierre Ventenat (1757-1808), botanist to Josephine, Lycée professor in charge of the Pantheon library and a member of L'Institut de France. Combining with Redouté, the three men went on to work together on the Choix des Plantes (1803-1808), as well as completing the third significant title in this impromptu series, the Jardin de la Malmaison, cataloguing Josephine's own magnificent collection, which also included many specimens from around the world, including some sent to her by Banks, Napoleon in Egypt, Baudin in Australia, and Alexander von Humboldt in South America.

Dunthorne, 253; Hunt Botanical Library, Catalogue of Redoutéana, 7; Nissen, 2048; Stafleu, TL2 16.005; W.T. Stearn, "Ventenat's "Description des Plantes... de J. M. Cels," "Jardin de la Malmaison" and "Choix des Plantes", in Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, I/7, pp.199-201; Williams, Botanophilia in eighteenth-century France, pp. 144-146.

Price (AUD): $38,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4305444

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