Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening.
Collected from Designs and Observations now in the Possession of the different Noblemen and Gentlemen, for whose use they were originally made. The whole tending to establish fixed principles in the art of laying out ground.London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co., and sold by J. and J. Boydell, and by G. Nicol,  Stock Code: 138558
Humphry Repton's first bookFirst edition of Repton's first book and the work in which he laid out "his claim to the position of a national authority" on landscape gardening (Rogger, p. 12). Handsomely printed by the finest London printer of the age, William Bulmer, the delightful aquatints employ clever overslips to show the transformation of the landscape under Repton's guiding hand.
Publication was delayed initially as the plates had to be re-engraved to a higher standard and then to allow Repton time to reply to attacks on his work by the art collector Richard Payne Knight and the rural improver Sir Uvedale Price. Sketches and Hints lists 57 of the estates on which Repton worked, and the plates derive from his famous "red books" in which he exhibited his plans for various patrons. "Despite Repton's own pessimism about his career and reputation, his influence on English landscape gardening has proved more powerful than that of any of his predecessors, rivals, or successors. The flexibility of his style, applicable to small gardens and large parks, incorporating a variety of architectural and horticultural features, and accommodating informal, domestic social arrangements, has ensured an enduring appeal" (ODNB).
This copy has an intriguing provenance that attests to the Europe-wide influence of Repton's work, bearing anonymous continental arms and monogram surmounted by a coronet to head and tail of spine; the binder's blanks at front and back carry the watermarks of the Bohemian papermaker Jan Antonín Heller (active 1808-41), based at Ledeč nad Sázavou, Czech Republic. ODNB notes that "Repton's reputation spread beyond Britain through influential travellers such as Prince Pückler-Muskau, who observed his works on the ground; his son John Adey was commissioned by Pückler-Muskau during a working trip to Germany and the Netherlands in 18212".
Landscape quarto (262 x 355 mm). Early 19th-century Bohemian half sheep sometime neatly rebacked with the original spine laid down, smooth spine divided by paired gilt fillets enclosing a lozenge-and-circle roll, 12-pointed centre tools (resembling the Vergina Sun or Macedonian Star), orange label, brown paper sides marbled in emulation of tree calf, patterned endpapers printed in blue and dull yellow, blue linen inner hinges.
16 aquatint plates,10 hand-coloured (4 double-page), 6 plain, all but 2 plates with single or double overslips, wood-engraved tailpiece. Watermarks: Text: J. Whatman, undated; Plates: J. Taylor, 1794.
Ownership stamp to binder's blank at rear of Max H. Behr, American amateur golfer and designer of courses in southern California, including Rancho Santa Fe and Lakeside Golf Club of Hollywood. A little wear to extremities of binding, light craquelure to periphery of sides, paper flaw to lower fore-corner of plate opposite p. 46, occasional light offsetting from letterpress to plates. A very good copy, clean and well-margined.
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