"OF ALL THE NUMEROUS SORTS OF FRUITS INDULGENT NATURE PRODUCES… THE GRAPE MUST BE ESTEEMED HER NOBLEST GIFT": FIRST EDITION OF SPEECHLY'S TREATISE ON THE CULTURE OF THE VINE, 1790, "THE BEST OF THEM ALL," WITH FIVE COPPER-ENGRAVED PLATES (THREE FOLDING)
SPEECHLY, William. A Treatise on the Culture of the Vine, Exhibiting New and Advantageous Methods of Propagating, Cultivating and Training that Plant, So as to Render It Abundantly Fruitful. Together with New Hints on the Formation of Vineyards in England. York: Printed for Author, by G. Peacock, 1790. Quarto, contemporary marbled boards rebacked and recornered in brown calf, red morocco spine label. $4000.
First edition of Speechly's "excellent work," featuring five copper-engraved plates (three folding) of vineyards, stove plans and growth patterns.
William Speechly, who "introduced new methods for cultivating grapes," was head gardener to Sir William St Quintin of Yorkshire before becoming "gardener to William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, third duke of Portland, at Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire" (ODNB). His Treatise on the Culture of the Vine is "the best of them all… a model of the sound, practical, well-written and beautifully printed manual" (Gabler, 265). This seminal work includes sections on the culture and management of the grape vineyard, pruning, watering and infestation, and a discussion of 50 varieties of grapes that might be grown in England. With four-page list of subscribers; bound without half title. Gabler, 265. Simon, 50. Lowndes, 2471. Bookplate.
Faint evidence of foxing, plates quite clean, with recent tissue guards. An attractive copy.