Thursday, May 6, 2010

Very rare book from 1725 offered on ebay

Se this: Lieglsteiner
This can be seen as the first book on bonsai in Europe.

I wrote this in 2000 to the IBC list:

Hi all,

Deo Aglibut, a member of the Bonsai Club Tirol has found a most remarkable book. It was written in 1725 by a guy called George Liegelsteiner, who was the court gardener of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Austria. He writes about dwarfing trees so that they look like a very beautiful big tree, but only much smaller. He understands tree physiology like only a small minority of bonsai enthusiasts today. He explains in detail how to shorten roots and transplant trees often, how to shorten branches, how to correct a onesided tree. He explaines how to cut back a tree to a stump, let the new shoots grow, cut them back at strategic points, let the newt shoots grow again and cut them back It is exactly the "Chinese" clip and grow technique. He makes drawings which explian the development of a dwarf-tree in a way that could not be improved.

Unfortunately he does not mention ever whether the trees are situated in any containers or in the field. This point does not seem to be of interest to him.

So to purists it is not an early European bonsai book. To me it is. I think the history of bonsai in Europe has to be rewritten.

In the next issue of the German bonsai magazine there will be an article with pictures about it.

Here the text of the title page (in poor English translation): "George Liegelsteiner's court gardener at the Archbishops in Salzburg, well examined DWARF-TREE, or thorough education, how the dwarf-trees are recognized at their roots and branches, yearly cut back, grown again on the other hand, with many fruits which taste better, and how rotten trees can be brougt back into good shape. Frankfurt and Leipzig 1725".

best regards

Walter Pall

2 comments:

Irene said...

Thank you for this reference.
In Google Book you can find three results for this title. The editions are available in "full view" and free for download:

Frankfurt/M. 1702:
http://tinyurl.com/2wnrqr7
Salzburg 1704:
http://tinyurl.com/394s7p4
Frankfurt/M. 1725:
http://tinyurl.com/3ywb2eh

Ana said...

Nice treat!

How about the part saying that 'the history of bonsai in Europe has to be rewritten', though: I don't think anyone has written it yet? Not in such a context, for sure.