AGRICOLA, Georg Andreas (1672-1738)
A Philosophical Treatise on Husbandry and Gardening: being a new method of cultivating and increasing all sorts of trees, shrubs, and flowers. A very curious work: containing many useful secrets in nature, for helping the vegetation of trees and plant, and for fertilizing the most stubborn soils ... Translated from the High-Dutch, with remarks ... The whole revised and compared with the original, together with a preface, confirming this new method, by Richard Bradley
London: printed for P. Vaillant ... and W. Mears and F. Clay, 1721. Quarto. (11 1/16 x 9 inches). Title printed in red and black. 22 engraved plates (13 double-page).
Contemporary speckled calf, spine in seven compartments with raised bands, red morocco lettering-piece in the second, the others with repeat decoration in gilt (joints split, corners neatly repaired)
First edition in English, with notes by Richard Bradley, of the "first treatise on cuttings and graftings" (Hunt).
In 1715-16, Agricola, a German doctor who practiced in his native city of Ratisbon, published some details of his important new method of propagating plants. "This consisted in grafting twigs and boughs to pieces of the same tree, using a plaster containing turpentine and pitch, mixed by means of heat, which he termed vegetable mummy. He also said that if 'vegetable mummy' were used to seal the open end of a cut bud, twig, or leaf, this would produce a root and develop into a new plant or tree. He thus claimed to be able to propagate as many new plants as a plant had twigs or even buds and leaves" (Henrey). Agricola subsequently published a book, in two parts, on the same subject "Here Agricola gives a detailed description of his method and its practical possibilities ... This work proved extremely popular and was translated into French, English, and Dutch. The French translation was probably by Antoine Augustin Bruzen de la Martinière, and it was translated from this French version into English.
Bradley Bibliography III, p.152; Henrey II, pp.443-446 & III, 41; Hunt II, 452.