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NY 10021
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Telephone +1 212 744 3505
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Specialists Colour Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Natural History, Voyages & Travel, Americana, Maps & Atlases, Ornithology, Botany, Native Americans, Cartography, Decorative & Sporting Prints
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124 East 74th Street
New York
USA
NY 10021
Contact Donald Heald
Telephone +1 212 744 3505
Fax +1 212 628 7847
Specialists Colour Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Natural History, Voyages & Travel, Americana, Maps & Atlases, Ornithology, Botany, Native Americans, Cartography, Decorative & Sporting Prints
Donald A. Heald Rare Books
Stand

BOWLES, JOHN (1701-1779)

Versailles Illustrated; or, Divers Views of the Several Parts of the Royal Palace of Versailles; as likewise of all the Fountains, Groves, Parterras, ye Labyrinth & other ye most beautiful parts of the gardens ... , London: John Bowles, [circa 1740]

Oblong folio (12 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches). Engraved pictorial title and 29 engraved plates by Bowles, showing fountains, water falls, statues and gardens of Versailles. Publisher's blue paper wrappers. Housed in a modern cloth case.

An early English work depicting the famed gardens and fountains of Versailles.

The plates depict the gardens and fountains of Versailles after Sebastien Le Clerc and others, engraved and issued by print and mapseller John Bowles. This edition is dated based on Bowles's address "at the Black Horse, in Cornhill" at which he was active between 1733 and 1752 (after which the name of the firm changed to John Bowles and Son).

The last seven plates depict the fountains in the labyrinth at Versailles, representing the Fables of Aesop. The "fable fountains" no longer exist and are now only known through engravings such as the present examples. These seven plates are each divided into six compartments. These contain a map of the Labyrinth giving the location of each fountain, a single compartment of engraved text describing the concept, a view of the entrance to the Labyrinth with its statue of Aesop, and 39 images of selected fountains, each of these latter images is accompanied by a verse translation of the fable above and a description of the sculpture below.

Bibliography
Johnston 394; Lowndes, p. 2764 (1726 edition)
£4,750