London, South Kensington
19 October 2016
JOHANN CHRISTOPH VOLCKAMER (1644-1720)
Nürnbergische Hesperides oder Gründliche Beschreibung der Edlen Citronat-, Citronen- und Pomeranzen-Früchte. Nuremberg: J.A. Endter, 1708.
First edition of one of the most celebrated 18th-century fruit books.
2° (360 x 230mm). 116 engraved plates, including frontispiece. (Early small marginal repair in H4, and short repaired tear to two folding plates; some leaves loose, these with light wear in the margins.) Contemporary vellum. Provenance: Freiherr Ernst von Grunelius and Freifrau Anna von Grunelius née Gräfin von Bernstorff (bookplate dated 1929) – Central Art Library, Dresden (small stamps and shelf mark).
Complete with half-title; title printed in red and black; spine titled in manuscript, edges sprinkled red. The fine, baroque plates by Paul Decker after Volckamer, primarily depict large scale citrus fruits above views of gardens, palaces, or villages in a German (especially around Nuremberg), Austrian or Italian landscape. It is ‘a valuable work for these garden views alone’ (Dunthorne). Most of the engraved plates are not signed, but Nissen attributes the majority to Paul Decker the younger. Volckamer, a wealthy Nuremberg merchant, was one of the first to cultivate citrus fruits north of the Alps in his orangery. A continuation was published in 1714. Dunthorne 323; Hunt 420; Great Flower Books p. 79; Nissen BBI 2076 and 2078; Raphael Oak Spring Pomona 73.
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