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    Sale 2170

    Important Botanical Books

    24 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 46

    CORDUS, Valerius (1515-1544). In hoc volumine continenteur... Annotationes in Pedacii Disocorides Anazarbei de medica material libros V... Ejusdem Val. Cordi historiae stirpium libri IIII posthumi, nunc primum in lucem editi... Sylva... De Artificiosis extractionibus liber. Compositiones medicinales aliquot... Conradi Gesneri de Hortis Germainae liber recens... Edited by Conrad Gesner. [Strassburg: Josias Rihel], 1561.

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    CORDUS, Valerius (1515-1544). In hoc volumine continenteur... Annotationes in Pedacii Disocorides Anazarbei de medica material libros V... Ejusdem Val. Cordi historiae stirpium libri IIII posthumi, nunc primum in lucem editi... Sylva... De Artificiosis extractionibus liber. Compositiones medicinales aliquot... Conradi Gesneri de Hortis Germainae liber recens... Edited by Conrad Gesner. [Strassburg: Josias Rihel], 1561.

    2o (314 x 205 mm). Woodcut printer's device on title-page, and botanical illustrations throughout by David Kandel from Boch's Kreutterbuch 1546. (Early repair to V2, minor marginal worming and a few dampstains.) Contemporary quarter blindstamped pigskin and vellum manuscript leaves over pasteboard (that on the back cover taken from a latin antiphonal with Hufnagelschrift music notation), remains of two pairs of ties (rubbed, some worm holes, lacking free endpapers). Provenance: Contemporary inscription detailing Cordus's biographical details on the title-page and numerous scholarly annotations throughout; Joh: H... D. Physic... (partially erased signature dated 1703 on title-page); Robert de Belder (1921-1995) horticulturist and proprietor of the Arboretum Kalmthout and Domain; An Important Botanical Library (Christie's New York 4 June 1997, lot 29).

    "CORDUS... ESTABLISHED IN PRINCIPLE THE BASIS OF SCIENTIFIC PLANT DESCRIPTION AND HIS TRANSFORMING INFLUENCE IS EVIDENT IN MOST OF THE LEADING BOTANISTS WHO FOLLOWED HIM" (Morton)

    FIRST EDITION, including the first and posthumous appearance of Cordus's important Historia stirpium, which describes about 500 new species of plants with revolutionary precision: "each description follows a regular pattern and almost always includes, in this order, the characteristic features of stem and leaves, the flower and time of flowering, the fruit and seeds, the number of loculi in the seed, the root, whether annual or perennial, taste and smell, and habitat. Cordus thus established in principle the basis of scientific plant description and his transforming influence is evident in most of the leading botanists who followed him" (Morton). Cordus's commentary of Dioscorides is one of the most important of the sixteenth century, drawn from lectures that he gave while studying at Wittenberg University. The editor Conrad Gesner, has contributed two of his own works including De tulipa Turcarum, the first scientifically accurate description of the tulip which had been introduced to Europe only a few years earlier "by Busbecq, the emporer's ambassador to Constantinople" (Wellisch 51.1). Adams C-2627; Nissen BBI 405; NLM/Durling 1025; Morton History of Botanical Science; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1231; Wellcome I 1604.


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