L'HÉRITIER DE BRUTELLE, Charles-Louis (1746-1800). Geraniologia, seu erodii, pelargonii, geranii, monsoniae er grieli historia iconibus illustrata. Paris: Didot for L.N. Prévost and T. Barrois, Paris; P. Elmsly, London; R. Graeffer, Vienna; and A. Koenig, Strassburg, 1787-1788 .
2o (497 x 335 mm). 44 engraved plates (some occasional minor spotting, heavier on the last two plates). Contemporary half calf, speckled paper boards (repaired at spine and corners, some rubbing along edges). Provenance: The John Crerar Library (bookplate, small perforated stamp on title-page, deaccession stamp on verso of title-page, small gold stamp on front cover).
FIRST EDITION of L'Héritier's work on the geranium. A wealthy jurist and celebrated amateur botanist, L'Héritier took great interest in and helped guide the careers of two important botanical artists Pierre Joseph Redouté and James Sowerby. In this present work, six plates are based on paintings by Sowerby, while thirty-one are after Redouté. L'Héritier chose to leave the plates uncolored, because he felt that "if his engravings were coloured, much of the sharpness and precision would be lost. The plates by Sowerby and Redouté are particularly fine, and provide us with an example of the early work of these two botanical illustrators, when they were still under the influence of the great French tradition established by Robert" (An Oak Spring Flora). Due to the outbreak of the French Revolution, the Geraniologia was never finished and was finally published in ca 1792. An Oak Spring Flora 57; Johnston/Cleveland Collections 578 (states publication date as 1791); Nissen BBI 1188; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4494.