Flora, seu De Florum Cultura Lib. IV. Editio Nova. Accurante Bernh: Rottendorffio, Sereniß. Electoris Colon: Medico Cubiculario, &c.
Quarto in 8s (9 1/4â€ x 7 1/4â€, 236mm x 184mm). Ï€2 (?)4 _-4_4 5_2 A-Ii8 Kk6 Ll4 Mm2 (Mm2 blank), blank [$4 (â€“(?)4, _4, 2_4
by Ferrari, Giovanni Battista, Bernhard Rottendorff
Amsterdam: Jan Janszoon (apud Joannem Janssonium), 1646. Quarto in 8s (9 1/4” x 7 1/4”, 236mm x 184mm). π2 (?)4 _-4_4 5_2 A-Ii8 Kk6 Ll4 Mm2 (Mm2 blank), blank [$4 (–(?)4, _4, 2_4, 3_4, 4_4, A1, D4, G1, P4, Kk4, Ll4; N4 missigned as “4. N.”, O3 missigned as “G 3”]; 285 leaves (including plates) + 1 additional plate; pp. , 522, . Collated perfect with Bayerische Staatsbibliothek copy (Res/4 Oecon. 124) Hardcover. Near fine. Bound in contemporary full vellum with yapp edges. Six cords visible at hinges. On spine, pasted orange hand-written title-piece (Ferrarius. s.j. / Flora.). Edges of text-block stained red. Fore-corners slightly bumped, yapp edges slightly soiled. Patches of light soiling to covers and to top and bottom edges of covers. Splits to front and rear paste-downs. Plate opp. p. 125 misprinted as 119; p. 123 (engraving of narcissus bulb and leaves) pasted over. As in other copies, there is an added plate between Aa6 and Aa7 (numbered 381, opposite p. 381). Edge-stains dark and even. On the front paste-down, a smudge of the red pigment from the edge-stain. Almost entirely devoid of foxing and tanning. Engravings crisp and vivid. A bright, tight, unsophisticated copy. At the lower fore-corner of the frontispiece, old ownership stamp of the Lyons Jesuit College (Lugdunensis Soc. Jesu), and, at the upper edge of the front paste-down, their (presumably) shelf-mark (1f –175B 2, 248). Ferrari (1584-1655), a Sienese Jesuit, was Professor of Hebrew and of Rhetoric at the Jesuit College in Rome, and at the same time advisor to the pope on the Vatican gardens and to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, whose Horti Barberini were the laboratory of this endeavor. The fruit of this learning is this four-book treatise ranging from the tools of the gardener to the morphology of flowers, the layout of gardens and the arrangement of flowers in a vase. The work is a milestone both in the breadth of its treatment of interest in flowers, as well as marking the standards of Italian taste in the early seventeenth century. Notably, the work features the first ever botanical illustration based on microscopy (Ii2r, p. 499). No book had ever been so systematic in its analysis of flowers. The first edition was published Rome 1633, and is rather scarce. 1638 saw translation of the work into Italian (as Flora overo cultura di fiori…). This 1646 edition, which declares itself to be a “new edition, refined by Berhnard Rottendorf”, is nearly identical to the 1633 edition, the pagination even lining up (save minor alterations such as the replacement of “v” with “u”). The major addition is a 36-page dedicatory letter from Bernhard Rottendorff (1594-1671), a Jesuit medical doctor and chamberlain to the Archbishop of Cologne, to Count Franz Wilhelm von Wartenburg, Bishop of Osnabrück. The plates have, I believe, been re-cut, the original artists’ names having also been removed. The plates are continuous in pagination (i.e., integral with the text), and some retain their deckled fore-edge, suggesting very minimal trimming. Coffin, David. Gardens and Gardening in Papal Rome, 175-8. Ibid. The Italian Flower Garden, 72-80. Masson, Georgina. Italian Flower Collectors’ Gardens in Seventeenth Century Italy.Nissen 620, Pritzel 2877. Antiquarian
(Inventory #: 4112)
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