Extremely rare copy of this booklet, published anonymously, giving a description of Franconville (Val d’Oise) and especially of the famous gardens of the count of Albon, vanished today. Cohen 624-625; De Ganay 117; Barbier, Dictionnaire des ouvrages anonymes, 3543.
The gardens, described at the time as extravagant, had been created by the count of Albon, after he had acquired a very large property owned by Cassini de Thury, the director of the Observatory. The illustration is composed of 19 plates very finely executed by Benoit, Le Pagelet, the countess of Albon and F. Marie de Lussy and engraved by Benoit and Le Pagelet.
They represent views of chalets and garden ornaments of the count Claude Camille François of Albon (1753-1789): temples, pyramids, obelisks, caves, etc. as well as a peculiar experiment of balloon. Indeed, the count of Albon made take off a balloon from his gardens, which was found five days later on the other side of Montmorency. These plates had already been published in a collection entitled « Vue des monuments construits dans les jardins de Franconville-la-Garenne » (Paris, Moutard, 1784).
«These gardens, in the English style, were so remarkably beautiful that we published ‘Vues des monuments construits dans les jardins de Franconville-la-Garenne’ » (Michaud).
A good copy of this rare book dedicated to the art of gardens, preserved in its original wrappers.
Only two copies of this extremely rare booklet are preserved in French institutions: at the B.n.F. and at the Bibliothèque de Dole.