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ANTOINE RISSO (1777-1854)
ANTOINE RISSO (1777-1854)

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ANTOINE RISSO (1777-1854)

Histoire naturelle des orangers. Paris: Imprimerie de Mme. Hrissant le Doux, 1818-1822. 1 volume bound in 2, 4 (355 x 267mm). Half-title bound at front of second volume. 109 FINE STIPPLE-ENGRAVED PLATES, PRINTED IN COLOURS AND FINISHED BY HAND after Poiteau by V. Bonnefoi, Chailly, Dien, Gabriel, Legrand, T. Susmihl and Texier. (Some spotting to text as usual, browning, staining or offsetting to about a third of the plates, plates 3, 76 and 82 with paper-fault tears to blank margins.) Contemporary red half morocco, spines gilt (neatly rebacked, old spine laid down, corners rounded). Provenance: Ambrose March Phillipps de Lisle (of Garendon Park, Leicestershire, and Grace Dieu Manor, armorial bookplate).

FIRST EDITION OF THIS "BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING WORK" (Great Flower Books). Antoine Risso, a French naturalist and pharmacist who became director of the Jardin de Naturalisation in Nice, was a "pioneer botanist of the Alpes Maritimes" (Stafleu). In his dedication to the Duchesse de Berry, he recalls her Italian childhood: "Votre Altesse Royale, en retraant ses yeux l'image des fruits qu'elle cueillit souvent de sa propre main sous le beau ciel de l'Italie". The Redout-esque plates are all from the drawings of Antoine Poiteau (1766-1854). Early in his career Poiteau taught botany and was employed as a gardener; he then made a plant-collecting expedition to the Caribbean. On his return to Paris in 1800, he concentrated on his work as an illustrator of botanical works. Poiteau is often listed as a co-author as well as illustrator of the present work, as, in addition to providing the drawings, Poiteau also contributed information concerning tropical varieties. The work was published in 19 fascicles (or parts) between July 1818 and August 1820, and is one of the most spectacular productions of Parisian colour printing in the early nineteenth century: "These oranges and lemons and their relations, with leaves, flowers, and often cross-sections as well as whole fruits, form one of the most beautiful and complete records of the varietes known in the nineteenth century" (Raphael, An Oak Spring Pomona).
Dunthorne 263; Great Flower Books p.73; Nissen BBI 1640; Stafleu & Cowan 9248. (2)
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