Icones Plantarum Syriae Rariorum, descriptionibus et observationibus illustratae. Decas Prima & Secunda.
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Parisiis, impensis auctoris, 1791. 2 parts (of 5). 4to. (I) pp. 22, with 10 engraved plates; (II) pp. 18, with 10 engraved plates. Contemporary wrappers.
The rarest of the 3 iconographies published by Labillardière. The 5 parts were published over a period of 21 years. An interval of 18 years between the parts 2 and 3. The publication was interrupted when Labillardière was invited to join the expedition that was to be sent out in search of La Pérouse. After he had published his principal works on this expedition, the 'Relation' of 1800 and 'Novae Hollandiae plantarum specimen' of 1804 and 1805, the publication of the present work was continued. The first botanical exploration of Ottoman Syria was made by Leonard Rauwolf, and his 'Aigentliche Beschreibung der Raiss inn die Morgenländer' was published in 1582. Botanical exploration of Turkish Syria was hampered by the fact that the countries (Ottoman Syria contained the general region of present Syria, Lebanon, and parts of Jordan and Palestine) were not very secure.
Labillardière obtained the services of some of the best botanical artists of his time, and Pierre Joseph Redouté illustrated 10 of the 20 plates of the first and second part.
Junk Rara, 218; MacPhail. Cat. Redouteana 64; Nissen BBI, 1115. See also Stafleu's introductory note to the reprint of 1968.