Plantae Selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortis curiosorum nutrita manu artificiosa doctaque pinxit Georgius Dionysius Ehret....
Augsburg, J.J. Haid, 1750-73. Large folio (550 x 380mm). pp. (iv), 56, (2), with general title in red, gold and black, and three engraved portraits, and 100 hand-coloured engraved plates, the first word of the engraved captions to each heightened in liquid gold; a fine large fresh copy in recent half green morocco.
First edition, an exceptionally fine and very large, uncut copy, of one of the most beautiful and distinctive flower books of the eighteenth century, with magnificent plates by Georg Dionysius Ehret. 'The genius of Ehret was the dominant influence in botanical art during the middle years of the eighteenth century' (Blunt). "The distinction of 'Plantae selectae' is that all the hundred plates were drawn by Georg Dionysius Ehret. The artist's career was greatly furthered by the admiration and the patronage of Dr. Trew. Born in Heidelberg, as a young man he tended the gardens of the Elector of Heidelberg and then the Margrave of Baden and began to paint flowers... From 1732 he prepared plates for Dr. Trew, as he continued on his travels. From England he sent back hundred drawings... He married the sister-in-law of Philip Miller and lived in England the rest of his days... He, with Spaendonck, Redouté, and the Bauer brothers, was one of the greatest painters of flowering plants' (Hunt catalogue). "Trew was a Nuremberg physician, anatomist, and botanist who at various times served as dean of the medical school at Nuremberg, as an Imperial Counsellor, and as personal physician to the Emperor. He was made a Palzgraf and served as patron of botanical (and anatomical) illustrators, filling roughly the same position in Germany as that occupied by Sir Hans Sloane in England" (Johnston). The plates were engraved by Johann Jacob Haid. The 3 mezzotint portraits show Trew, Ehret, and Haid; the latter engraved the two former, while his own portrait was engraved by his son Johann Elias. Occasionally a fourth portrait of B.C. Vogel, is found (not present in Hunt and the majority of copies). There are various issue points concerning this work. The plates were issued in a series of 'decuriae', i.e. decades with ten plates, each with their own title page. Copies are found either with a single general title, as above (see Hunt 539), or without the general title, and the ten decades titles present instead. Our copy has additionally one decade title between plate 50 and 51. A few leaves with some paper repair. Dunthorne 309; Great Flower Books p. 78; Hunt 539; Johnston 429; Nissen BBI, 1997; Stafleu & Cowan 15131.
Item nr. 8797
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