This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, medium sized, two inches and three-quarters wide, and three inches high; turbinate, very uneven and bossed in its outline, being considerably ribbed and undulating. Skin, smooth, pale straw coloured, sprinkled with green dots and patches of russet. Eye, large, half open, set almost level with the surface. Stalk, an inch and a quarter long, inserted without depression, and frequently fleshy at the base, where it swells out into the apex of the fruit. Flesh, yellowish, buttery and melting, juicy, with a sweet, rich, sprightly flavour and a musky aroma.
It was raised by Van Mons, and named after Vicomte de Spoelbergh, who lived at Lovenjoul, in Belgium.
Vigne de Pelone. See Figue de Naples.
Fruit, medium sized, two inches and three-quarters long, and two and a half wide; obovate. Skin, smooth, pale straw-colour, with slight markings of very thin brown russet, interspersed with minute green dots, and with a patch of pale brown russet in the basin of the eye. Eye, open, frequently abortive, set in a shallow depression. Stalk, short and fleshy, inserted in a deep, narrow cavity. Flesh, yellowish white, exceedingly tender, melting, and very juicy, of a honied sweetness and fine delicate perfume.
A delicious and richly flavoured pear; ripe in the end of September and beginning of October.
Raised by Major Esperen, of Malines, in 1840.
Fruit, large, and pyriform, rounded towards the eye and tapering thickly towards the stalk, assuming sometimes an ovate shape. Skin, smooth and delicate, at first of a fine lively green, which changes as it ripens to a beautiful pale lemon-yellow, with a faint trace of brownish red next the sun, and strewed with numerous small grey dots and slight markings of delicate russet. Eye, small and open, with long stout segments, and set in a small shallow basin, sometimes without any depression. Stalk, an inch to an inch and a quarter long, fleshy at the base and attached without depression. Flesh, yellowish white, delicate, buttery, melting, and very juicy, with a sugary and perfumed flavour.
An excellent old French dessert pear; in use from November to January.
The tree is a strong and very vigorous grower, but is long before it comes into bearing, and has the character of being an indifferent bearer. The fruit is very apt to drop before it is thoroughly ripe, and shrivels very much in keeping. It is exceedingly susceptible of contracting the flavour of any substances it comes in contact with, such as hay, straw, or deal boards, upon which fruits are generally placed, or decayed fruit lying near it, and advantage may be taken of this property by laying it on substances impregnated with perfumes the flavour of which it is desirable to communicate, such as elder-flower, musk, or rose leaves.
This variety originated at the village of Virgouleuse, near Limoges, in the department of Creuse, of which the Marquis Chambrette was the baron, and by whom it was first introduced to Paris about the middle of the 17th century.