NIVEN, James Craig. Inaugural Ceremonies in honour of the opening of Fountain Gardens Paisley. iv, 86 pp, (including list of subscribers), engraved portrait frontis and 6 full page engraved plates. Large 4to., 312 x 280 mm, bound in original green cloth covered bevelled boards, the title blocked in gilt within a floriate cartouche to the centre of the upper board, the design repeated in blind to the centre of the lower board, both boards with a decorative border blocked in blind, all edges gilt. Paisley: J. & J. Cook, 1868.
The Fountain Gardens stand on the site of Hope Temple Gardens developed by John Love, a local manufacturer in 1797. At his death in 1827 the land passed into the care of his trustees, and it was from them that John Coats of J & P Coats of Paisley, thread manufacturers, purchased the site in 1866. He commissioned the Glasgow Landscape architect, James Craig Niven, a former assistant of Joseph Paxton, to lay out a new park to be gifted to Paisley for the use of the townsfolk. The design was broadly geometric in plan with wide avenues leading to an ornate fountain at their centre. A particular feature of the gardens was the elaborate cast ironwork supplied by the firm of George Smith & Company of the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, which included lamps, railings, gates and a new verandah. On the 26th May, 1868, the park was formally handed over to the care of Paisley Town Council. The present work is a detailed record of the design of the gardens and the ceremonies and festivities that attended their inauguration.Although well-represented in institutional collections, this title rarely appears for sale. Some offsetting from the plates, otherwise a bright, fresh copy.Provenance: Old ink presentation inscription to the recto of the half-title, 'Presented By The Philosphical Society of Paisley To The Public Library at Maidstone. Hugh Cowan President Paisley 20 Oct. 1873'; neat rubber ink stamp 'Withdrawn from Maidstone Museum Library', to same.The Drawing Room Edition, one of 600 copies. A scarce book with OCLC listing copies in only 4 American libraries.
Item nr. 145342