Large 4to. [29.5 x 21.6 cm], (l) ff. , viii, 80 pp., with 12 engraved plates. Bound in contemporary sheep gilt-stamped with raised spine bands, with gilt fleurons and title. Minor soiling on some lower corners. Excellent.
Rare first edition of this handsomely illustrated treatise on the cultivation and manufacture of linen, a staple of the textile and paper industries until the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney (a mere two years after this book was published) and cheaper methods of paper processing curtailed its markets. The work covers all phases of the crop’s life from seedling to mature plant and treats the six stages of pulling, rippling, retting, drying, rolling and scutching. The elegant finely-engraved plates—many of which show figures in contemporary dress—illustrate the stages of the process along with the requisite tools. The process remained labor intensive, as the workers depicted in the plates suggest, making it highly vulnerable to the assaults of mechanized production.
Trecco taught at the Agricultural Academy at Vincenza and is also credited with a work on engraving marble.
* Bibl. dell’Agricoltura I, p. 154.