Coloured figures of English Fungi or Mushrooms.
Eur 16,000 / USD 16,800
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London, printed by J. Davis and sold by the Author, 1797-1803, (1815). 3 volumes. Folio (320 x 200mm). With 440 hand-coloured engraved plates on 436 leaves. Later gilt ornamented half calf with red and green gilt lettered labels, marbled sides.
The most attractive illustrated English work on mycology
The most attractive illustrated English work on mycology ever published, and a famous classic in its field. It was Sowerby himself who did the drawing and engraving of the plates, which are all beautifully handcoloured. James Sowerby sometimes printed the plate in a colour other than black. Our copy includes the rare supplement which is often lacking. "James Sowerby dedicated his 'Coloured figures of English fungi' to Sir Joseph Banks and J.E. Smith jointly. 'To the first of these gentleman', wrote Sowerby 'I have great obligations for granting me access to the first library in the world, as well as most ready assistance in any enquiry whatever relating to natural history'" (Henry, British Botanical and Horticultural Lit. II, p. 263). A fine and unusually fresh copy without any foxing to the plates.
Provenance: bookplate of Arpad Plesch, famous collector of botanical books.
Nissen BBI, 1874; Stafleu & Cowan 12.490.