Andr Michaux (1746-1802)
Histoire des chnes de l'Amrique, ou descriptions et figures de toutes les espces et varits de Chnes de l'Amrique Septentrionale, Considres sous les rapports de la Botanique, de leur culture et de leur usage. Paris: imprimerie Crapelet, 1801. 2 (452 x 289mm). Half-title. 36 engraved plates after Pierre Joseph Redout (32) or H.J. Redout (4), by Ple or Sellier. (Some marginal spotting just affecting the image area of about 4 plates, small neat repair to lower blank margin of plate no.5). Contemporary English diced russia gilt, covers with neo-classical border surrounding the centrally-placed arms of the Marquis of Blandford [Davenport p.118], spine in seven compartments with double raised bands, Spencer crest in the first, lettered in the second, the others with repeat decoration of small tools and pointill work, gilt turn-ins, g.e (rebacked, old spine neatly laid down).
Provenance: George Spencer Churchill, Marquis of Blandford, later 5th Duke of Marlborough (1766-1840, binding).
THE WHITE KNIGHTS COPY OF THIS MASTERLY MONOGRAPH ON THE AMERICAN OAKS. MacPhail notes that this work was one of 'the results of Michaux's ten-year sojourn in North America under commission from the French government. His interest in North American trees was also to assess their importance as timber for the construction of naval vessels' (Hunt Redoutana p.44). The Marquis of Blandford spent an enourmous amount of money assembling one of the great libraries of the early 19th century, housed at his house 'White Knights' near Reading. He became the 5th Duke of Marlborough in 1817, but had to sell the library, which was offered at auction in June 1819. Hunt Redoutana 8; Nissen BBI 1358; Stafleu & Cowan 5957.