SERRES (J. de). The Theatre of Agriculture... - Lot 169 - De Baecque et Associés

Lot 169
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SERRES (J. de). The Theatre of Agriculture... - Lot 169 - De Baecque et Associés
SERRES (J. de). The Theatre of Agriculture and the Measurement of Fields.
Paris, Iamet Metayer, 1600.
In folio of [16]-1004-[20] pages, light calf, Renaissance iron gilt on the covers, spine with ornate nerves (period binding).
Extremely rare first edition.
It is decorated with an engraved title by Mallery, surmounted by a small full-length portrait of King Henri IV, 8 woodcut vignettes and woodcut figures in the text showing the plans of the medicinal garden.
THIS IS THE FIRST FRENCH BOOK CONSACRATED TO AGRICULTURE; it enjoyed an extraordinary success during 3 centuries. It testifies to the agricultural recovery of France after the events of the Wars of Religion and Olivier de Serres introduces new notions: fallow land, the necessity of deep soil clearing, the distinction of exhausting plants, the foundation of the theory of crop rotation.
He recommended the sulphurization of vines and advocated new crops. Hops, corn, rice, beetroot, recently imported and whose juice he points out is "similar to a sugar syrup".
Olivier de Serres' prose is full of charm and Henri IV had a passage read to him every day. Fine old restorations in the margins of the first 4 leaves, small light marginal rings at the head without affecting the text. Important old restorations well executed on the spine, the copy is in good margins. (In French in the text n° 79).
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