The Epitome of the Art of Husbandry : comprizing all necessary directions for the improvement of it, viz. : plowing, sowing, grafting, gardening, ordering of flowers, herbs : directions for the use of the angle : ordering of bees : together with the gentlemans heroick exercise : discoursing of horses ... of oxen, cows, calves, sheep, hogs ... of the nature of marle, the best way of planting clover-grass, hops, saffron, liquorice, hemp, &c. : to which is annexed by way of appendix, a new method of planting fruit-trees, and improving of an orchard : with directions for taking, ordering, teaching, and curing of singing birds, and other useful additions.

London: Printed for Benjamin Billingsley, at the sign of the Printing Press, in the piazza of the Royal Exchange, over against Popes-Head-Alley, in Cornhill, 1675.

Two volumes bound as one; octavo (17 x 12 cm.), [8], 159, 158-246; 136, [16] pages; with errors in pagination as issued. Two engraved, illustrated additional titles. Publisher's advertisement on verso of the terminal leaf. Indexes. Second part has separate title page: New additions to the art of husbandry : comprizing a new way of enriching meadows, destroying of moles, making tulips of any colour : with an approved way for ordering of fish and fish-ponds, and destroying the hern... Third Edition. A scarce work on husbandry, attributed to Joseph Blagrave by Wing. Blagrave was a noted 17th century astrologer and authority on the practice of physic. It was edited by his nephew Obadiah Blagrave (DNB), a London bookseller, who along with Benjamin Billingsley originally published the first part of the work in 1669. The second part, titled New Additions to the Art of Husbandry, appeared the following year. The present second combined edition is entirely reset from the edition of 1670 and includes an additional section in the second part on singing birds not found in any previous edition (pages 51-136). Interestingly, Billingsley's advertisement on the verso of the terminal leaf promotes not just books for sale, but also various salves, lozenges, pills, powders and other remedies. ~ Fussel [The Old English Farming Books (1947)] describes the author as an astrologer, and his work of "derivative character". In turn he quotes Richard Weston who states that Blagrave has "copied verbatim, 181 pages from Fitz-Herbert without making any apology for this freedom; and the remaining chapters are taken, with the same liberty, from Mascall, Blyth, and an Italian author..." [Weston, Tracts on Practical Agriculture (1773)]. The work also includes sections on bees and angling, and eighty-five pages, Some Further Additions Concerning Singing Birds. In marbled paper over half-brown morocco, with all edges marbled, and matching marbled endpapers. Compartmented spine with gilt-tooled in a floral pattern. Some scuffing to boards and wear to edges. Still very good. Ownership inscription of "Littleton Powys June 16, ’75”. Powys (1647?-1732) had only recently embarked on his career in law. He was knighted in 1692, served time on the Court of King's Bench, and was appointed Baron of the Exchequer. The front pastedown bears a later armorial bookplate of Edwin F. Snow. Near fine. [OCLC locates eight copies; British Bee Books 41; Fussel, page 76; Wing (2nd ed.) B3117, 3120; ESTC R004466].

Price: $1,500.00