1731 · Basel
Massive German pre-Linnaean herbal, printed largely in black letter and copiously illustrated. The first portion was originally published by Theodorus, an accomplished physician and botanist, in 1588, and the second by Caspar Bauhin in 1613 after Theodorus's death; this is the fifth edition of the enduringly popular completed work, additionally enlarged by Caspar and Jean Bauhin.
As the title boasts, some => 3000 plants are described herein — including, among the Americana, tobacco, New World gourds and melons, and "Indian corn" — many among which are illustrated with attractive woodcuts reproduced from Bock, Fuchs, Mattioli, and others. => 53 of the numerous illustrations have been hand-colored in a pleasing and competent but not professional style, in naturalistic hues of green, brown, blue, yellow, red, violet, and charcoal. There does not appear to be any immediately obvious pattern underlying which illustrations have been selected for this coloring!
Nissen 1931; Pritzel 9093. Contemporary mottled calf, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and small paper shelving label, joints cracked; much abraded and acid-pitted, leather chipped along spine and lost at spine extremities, free endpapers lacking, the whole holding. Mild to moderate foxing, some corners bumped, about 40 leaves with small area of worming in lower margin. Limited area of light waterstaining across gutter, up into text but typically not far, from p. 197 on, this rising higher and approaching "moderate" at ca. p. 1350 and darkest/largest to last leaves and register; variously light waterstain additionally across upper outer corner from ca. p. 1000 with some leaves at rear in register showing this along full length. Two leaves (423/24, 429/30) with outer margins trimmed short, possibly tipped in from another copy; first two leaves of second volume with outer margins slightly ragged; one leaf with long tear from upper margin, passing through one illustration without loss; one leaf with very small burn mark in between columns, just touching one letter; one leaf with tear from outer margin extending into text, without loss. => A worn and aged but still appealing, venerable, and entirely usable copy, with the added interest of contemporary coloring. (Inventory #: 36429)