First Edition of Jacques Delille’s „Les Jardins“

DELILLE, Jacques –Les Jardins, ou l’Art d’embellir les Paysages: Poeme. Paris, Francois Ambroise Didot, 1782.  Large 4to, 144 pages

FIRST EDITION. One of only 200 copies.

Beautifully bound in contemporary french crimson morocco, ornamental border on both covers, inside dentelles, all edges gilt, moire covered pastedowns — probably the original publishers binding.

The exceedingly rare first edition of Delille’s most celebrated and influential poem, in which the author celebrated the virtues of the natural garden or jardin anglais, rather than the fashion for neoclassical symmetry. A luxury edition on paper by Matthieu Johannot d’Annonay and with characters by Francois Ambroise Didot and Claude Garamond. All later editions were published in octavo.

Jacques Delille (1738-1813) was one of the great eighteenth-century French poets, and his works were much reprinted and translated. His influence on taste in gardening was significant, and he is also known for his translations into French of Virgil’s Georgics and Milton’s Paradise Lost, two great works with gardening themes. „Les Jardins“ was a great success throughout Europe with English and German translations appearing quickly.

Occasional browning at inner hinge, corners slightly rubbed, otherwise in good condition. An exceptional copy.

Edition originale de l’oeuvre la plus marquante de l’abbe Delille, deja celebre a son epoque pour ses traductions des Georgiques et du Paradis perdu. Les Jardins connurent un extraordinaire succes des l’annee de leur parution et plusieurs editions se succederent, la plupart illustrees. L’impression de celle-ci, l’edition princeps du poeme, fut confiee a Didot l’aine, qui en limita l’edition a 200 exemplaires de luxe, sur papier verge fort, et la composa avec ses derniers caracteres ainsi que les superbes caracteres graves par Claude Garamond pour Estienne au XVIe siecle.

Reliure de l’Epoque. Maroquin crimson, encadrement de filets et de motifs dorée, dentelles inteireurs doublé et gardes de moire bleue, tranches dorees – probable reliure de l’editeur.

 EUR 4500,–