The Catalogue of Fruit Trees Cultivated at the Carthusian Monastery of Chartreux in Paris - Bound with another rare French Pomological Work


Catalogue des plus excellens fruits, les plus rares & les plus estimés, qui se cultivent dans les pépinières des révérends pères chartreux de Paris. Avec leurs descriptions, & le tems le plus ordinaire de leur maturité.

Paris: Jean-Baptiste Delespine, 1736


Duodecimo: 14 x 7.8 cm. 40 pp.

FIRST EDITION THUS. (Rheder records a four-page catalogue under this same title published in 1628.)

Bound in attractive contemporary calf, gilt spine, hinges rubbed, tiny loss to leather along front hinge. A nice copy, trimmed a bit close. Very rare. I have located only 4 other copies (all in France.) This book is bound with a second French pomological text (see further down in this description.)

The Carthusians were invited to Paris by Saint Louis who offered them the castle of Vauvert in 1258. The monks, who were never more than 32, were at the head of a vast area of 23 hectares, famous for its gardens. They were driven out in 1792. The Charterhouse became an armaments factory and was then demolished. This catalog describes the various varieties of peaches (cerises, Malte, Belle-Garde or gallande ...), cherries (royale, à grappes ...), a great variety of pears (cuisse-madame, Rousseline, Ambrette, l'angélique de Bordeaux.), etc.

"Attesting to the French preoccupation with fruit cultivation and supporting its advancement was a proliferation of nurseries… The most enduring and internationally acclaimed of these businesses began around 1650 at the Carthusian monastery of Chartreux in Paris, and proved so successful that by 1712 annual sales reached 14,000 trees. The monks' fruit collections and the trees that they sold, in particular pears, became renowned for their 'trueness to type', that is the correct variety, not something else masquerading under the name."(Morgan, The Book of Pears, p. 105)

Not in Hunt or Barbier. See Rheder, The Bradley Bibliography, Vol III. (Cambridge, 1915)

[Bound with:]

Merlet, Jean (fl. 1670-1690)

L'abrégé des bons fruits, avec la manière de les connoistre, & de cultiver les arbres. Reveu, corrigé et augmenté de plusieurs expériences sur le fait du jardinage, et de quantité de nouveaux et excellents fruits. Troisième edition.

Paris, Charles De Sercy, 1690

Duodecimo: [8]-171-[13] pp.

THIRD EDITION (First ed. 1667; 2nd ed. 1675). All editions are rare.