LIMITED EDITION REPTON
The Repton landscape at Woburn Abbey is gradually being restored and will become one of the best surviving examples of his works when restorations are complete. To mark the bicentenary of the death of innovative landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818), Woburn Abbey and Gardens commissioned a limited edition facsimile of the Red Book for Woburn Abbey, 1805 and a richly illustrated companion book Humphry Repton and the Russell Family which features the Red Books for Woburn Abbey and Endsleigh, Devon written by landscape designer, gardens historian and Repton scholar, Keir Davidson.
Innovative garden designer, Humphry Repton, designed over 400 gardens in a 30 year career, introducing ornamental elements to garden design allowing a more gentle transition from house to agricultural landscape. This became a key tenet of Regency garden style.
Repton presented many of his proposals to clients as beautiful books – named for the leather in which some were bound. They contain maps, plans, surveys and architectural features alongside lengthy explanatory passages outlining his theory of landscape gardening. His clever before and after scenes helped clients imagine how his proposed improvements would alter the landscape.
Repton’s work for the Russells is dominated by his time at Woburn Abbey but the family were in fact patrons of his most varied commissions ranging from a small family home at Oakley, near Bedford, Russell Square, London, buildings in the centre of Tavistock, Devon and a cottage orné (or decorative cottage) at nearby Endsleigh.
THE WOBURN ABBEY COMMISSION
When John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford (1766-1839), invited Repton to prepare landscape designs for Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, Repton had no other commissions on the horizon. The importance of obtaining the Duke’s approval for his designs is reflected in the Red Book he produced: it is one of the largest (552 x 423mm) and most carefully designed. Repton’s hopes were high and ultimately successful.
‘The Improvements…have nowhere been so fully realised as at Woburn Abbey.’ Repton, Fragments, 1816
The Repton landscape at Woburn Abbey is gradually being restored and will become one of the best surviving examples of his works when the restorations are completed in 2025.
One of the oldest bookbinding firms in Britain, Shepherds, Sangorski and Sutcliff, was chosen for this special commission. They combined their traditional skills with the latest fine art printing techniques to create a book as close to Repton’s original as possible: matching the soft tone watercolours, materials, ‘reveals’, and even the folds, creases and signs of age are recreated in this beautiful handbound volume. The binding is faithful to the original 19th century binding, it is covered in vegetable tanned dark red straight-grain goatskin and tooled in 24 carat gold leaf.
A 21st CENTURY REPRODUCTION
‘I am extremely proud of this unique facsimile, created by the most skilled craftsmen using the finest materials and worthy of the original’. Andrew Russell, 15th Duke of Bedford.
The volume includes a signed introduction by the current Duke of Bedford and a colophon and it is housed in a slipcase in matching dark red cloth and lined with soft suedel.
The edition is strictly limited and numbered.
YOURS TO OWN
The Red Book for Woburn Abbey, 1805 (strictly limited, numbered and signed) is presented with a richly illustrated copy of Humphry Repton and the Russell Family Featuring the Red Books for Woburn Abbey and Endsleigh, Devon by Keir Davidson £4,995 (Inc. packing, postage & insurance for UK purchases; postage for deliveries outside the UK additional.)
Humphry Repton and the Russell Family Featuring the Red Books for Woburn Abbey and Endsleigh, Devon by Keir Davidson £14.99 + £3 p&p
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Account Details: Abbey Receipts
Account Sort Code 15-80-00
Account Number 10492095
BIC RBOS GB 2L IBAN GB82 RBOS1580 0010 492095
When asked for a reference please add your name and either Red Book or Companion and email firstname.lastname@example.org with the address to which your purchase should be posted.
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Cheques (in sterling) to be made payable to Woburn Enterprises and sent to: The Archivist, The Bedford Estates, Bedford Office, Woburn, Bedfordshire MK17 9PQ. Please include the address to which your purchase should be posted to: email@example.com
NOTE: There is NO VAT on BOOKS.