Horticultura, Libris II. comprehensa; huic nostro coelo & solo accommodata... in qua quicquid ad hortum proficue colendum, et eleganter instruendum facit, explicatur.
Frankfurt, Matthias Merian, (1631), (with:) Apparatus Plantarum primus: tributus in duos libros. I.De plantis bulbosis. II. De plantis tuberosis... Frankfurt, Matthias Merian, (1632). 2 vols in one. 4to (205 x 155mm). pp. 196, with engraved title and 29 full-page engraved plates (with blank conjugate to plate 21), 6 of which are printed in the text; pp. 168, with engraved title and 36 engraved plates in text; small tear to preface of 'Apparatus' touching woodcut ornament and a few letters on verso, a very nice copy in contemporary vellum, spine a bit discoloured.
First edition of one of the best of the early 17th-century gardening manuals, scientific in its detail and approach. It is known to have influenced John Evelyn who quotes it in his unpublished 'Elysium Britannicum'. Morton describes the work as 'typical of the experience and ideas that began to flow into botany from horticulture' and goes on to recount how Lauremberg rejected the idea of the 'plant soul' having a specific location, because 'horticulturalists knew that plants could live and reproduce themselves from very small pieces cut from the roots (i.e. rhizomes, stolons, etc.) as well as from branches, stems, seeds, and even leaves (as in the case of the Indian fig). Therefore the soul or vital force (vigor vitalis) is not in one part more than another, but diffused through the whole plant body... Lauremberg describes his own experiment, lasting three years, in which two hundred vine cuttings were grown in close association with two varieties of cabbage in order to test an ancient belief, mentioned by Pliny, that vine and cabbage adversely affect each other. He found, however, that both species flourished and there was no evidence of mutual inhibition... In other experiments he found, contrary to tradition, that rue and fig did not benefit from interplanting. There were many gardener's notions about how seeds were best oriented when sown; the wrong way was said to give dwarf or unthrifty plants. Again, Lauremberg made his own observations with seeds of pea, cucurbita, walnut, almond, date and others, finding that the stem grew upwards and the root downwards irrespective of the original orientation, and that the alleged effects of malplacement were "empty superstition"' (Morton, History of botanical science p. 222-3). The work covers a variety of topics, including the layout of the orchard and flower and herb gardens, topiary, labyrinths, sundials, etc. Five plates illustrate gardening tools, 18 are of designs for parterres and labyrinths, and two are for topiary. The second title, 'Apparatus plantarum', the sequel to the 'Horticultura', is devoted to bulbous and tuberous plants, including the most popular garden flowers of the time. It 'deals not only with their medicinal and culinary uses, but their care and propagation, places in literature, etc.' (Johnston). Provenance: inscription on verso of last text leaf of Apparatus: 'IASVSH. Anno 1650'; inscription on title 'Ordinis Crucigerorum cum Zubea Stella Pragae 1671'. Hunt 219 and 221; Johnston 181 and 183; Nissen BBI 1147 and 1146; Wellcome 3681 and 3682.
Item nr. 2825
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