(LINNAEUS, C.) - HOUTTUYN, M.
Natuurlijke Historie of uitvoerige beschrijving der dieren, planten en mineraalen, volgens het samenstel van de Heer Linnaeus.
Amsterdam, F. Houttuyn, 1761-1785. 3 sections in 37 volumes. Royal-8vo (215 x 135mm). With 296 beautifully handcoloured folded engraved plates. Uniform contemporary half calf, spines with red, green and black gilt lettered labels (some very minor damage to a few labels).
The very scarce handcoloured edition of Houttuyn's famous work, based on Linnaeus's 'Systema naturae'. It is often cited under Linnaeus, although it is more a compilation than a translation and influenced largely many similar works in the vernacular in other countries. The edition with the plates coloured must have been quite small as the publishing price of fl. 136.00 was a considerable amount of money at the time. The handcolouring is exceptionally fine. The work is divided into three parts: 1. Zoology, 18 volumes with 143 plates, subdivided into mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes, insects, worms, molluscs and polypes; 2. Botany, 14 volumes with 105 plates. Minerals, 5 volumes with 48 plates, divided into fossils, stones and minerals. The plates in the mineral section are of great beauty. 'An excellent example of this trend towards writing on science in the vernacular with a wide public is provided by Maarten Houttuyn (1720-1798) and his elaborate Dutch 'version' of the twelfth edition of Linnaeaus's 'Systema Naturae', actually a whole independent work, entitled 'Natuurlijke Historie... (1773-1783). Houttuyn was a Dutch physician at Amsterdam... Even though professing to follow the 'Systema naturae', Houttuyn actually opts for a major division of the plant kindom on the basis of a natural system... The taxonomic part of the book is extremely detailed and contains a wealth of incidental information not brought together in this form elsewhery. The total botanical work contains some 8600 pages of text, 105 excellent copper plates illustrating 275 species of plants. The 'Natuurlijke Historie...' as a whole comprises well over 21.500 pages of text ... As such it did much to diffuse Linnaean thought and method among the increasingly growing body of the eighteenth-century intellectuals and 'curiosi'' (Stafleu, Linnaeus and the Linnaeans pp. 174-5). Houttuyn's work had quite an impact on Japanese natural history. Some set were brought to Japan with VOC ships and for example the famous Japanese botanist Yokusai Iinuma (1783-1865) made ample use of the work for his twenty volume iconography of Japanese plants. Landwehr. Dutch Books with coloured plates, 82; Souslby 73; see also Boeseman & de Ligny. Martinus Houttyun (1720-1798) and his contributions on the natural sciences, with emphasis on zoology.
Item nr. 9204
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